President Paul Kagame in parliament (file photo).
By James Munyaneza
President Paul Kagame yesterday reshuffled the cabinet, naming five new faces in the 30-member lineup, dropping three ministers and state ministers, while he also redeployed another.
The changes also saw the Ministry for Internal Affairs scrapped as well as the Portfolio of the State Minister for Mines. Former ministers Musa Fazil Harelimana (Internal Security) and Evode Imena (State, Mining) did not feature in the new lineup, while Tony Nsanganira was replaced as the State Minister for Agriculture.
The EAC affairs docket has also been scrapped as an independent ministry, and merged with the Ministry of Trade and Industry to form the Ministry of Trade, Industry and EAC affairs, with François Kanimba retained as the minister.
Amb. Valentine Rugwabiza, who was until yesterday the Minister for East African Community affairs, moves to New York as Rwanda’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations.
Nsanganira has been replaced by Fulgence Nsengiyumva as the State Minister for Agriculture in the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources – with Dr Gérardine Mukeshimana retained as the minister.
Nsengiyumva, a former prefect (governor) of Gitarama, once served as permanent secretary (then secretary general) of the Ministry of Agriculture, before going into private practice.
Dr Diane Gashumba, who was until last evening the Minister for Gender and Family Promotion, was named the new Health minister.
Espérance Nyirasafari, until yesterday a Member of Parliament, replaces Dr Gashumba as the new Minister for Gender and Family Promotion.
The shakeup also saw the creation of two new portfolios: State Minister for Constitutional and Legal Affairs in the Ministry of Justice, and State Minister for Socio-economic Development in the Ministry of Local Government.
Evode Uwizeyimana, who has been vice chairperson of the Law Reform Commission, becomes the State Minister for Constitutional and Legal Affairs, while Vincent Munyeshaka was named the State Minister for Socio-economic Development.
Munyeshaka was until yesterday the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Local Government.
Johnston Busingye was retained as the Minister of new-look Justice docket, while he also remains the Attorney General.
Olivier Rwamukwaya, who was until yesterday the State Minister for Primary and Secondary Education, was transferred within the same ministry (Education) to become the new State Minister for Technical and Vocational Education and Training.
Isaac Munyakazi, a former school administrator, was named the new State Minister for Primary and Secondary Education – replacing Rwamukwaya – in a ministry that remains under Dr Papias Malimba Musafiri.
The new cabinet boasts 11 women, representing 36 per cent.
According to a statement released by the Prime Minister Anastase Murekezi, three new provincial governors were also named, with only Alphonse Munyentwali, the Governor of the Southern Province retaining his position.
Claude Musabyimana, who was until yesterday the Mayor of Musanze District, was named the Governor of Northern Province, replacing Aimé Bosenibamwe, while Marie-Rose Mureshyankwano, who was until yesterday a Member of Parliament, was appointed the Governor of Western Province, replacing Caritas Mukandasira.
Judith Kanzayire, who has been City of Kigali’s vice mayor in charge of social affairs since February, has been named the Governor of Eastern Province, replacing Odette Uwamariya, who becomes the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Local Government.
Uwamariya replaces Munyeshyaka, who has been elevated to the position of state minister.
Emmanuel Hategeka was moved from the Ministry of Trade and Industry, where he’s been Permanent Secretary and appointed the National Coordinator of Northern Corridor, the framework under which Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, South Sudan and Ethiopia are pursuing key joint infrastructure projects, among other integration initiatives.
Innocent Safari, who has been serving as Permanent Secretary in the now defunct Ministry of EAC affairs, replaces Hategeka at the new-look Ministry of Trade, Industry and EAC affairs.
Also appointed are Dr Mark Bagabe Cyubahiro, who becomes the director general of the Rwanda Agriculture Board; Robert Masozera, who becomes the director general of the Institute of National Museums of Rwanda; and Annet Karenzi, who was named director general of Industry and SMEs at the Ministry of Trade, Industry and EAC.
Feza Bakuramutsa was named the new Minister Counselor at the Rwandan Mission to the United Nations, replacing Jeanne d’Arc Karuretwa.
Bakuramutsa was the Director General of Imbuto Foundation.