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RWANDA: Kagame shuffles cabinet

President Paul Kagame delivers his inaugural speech August 18, 2017. PHOTO

Urges new team to transform Rwanda and citizens

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT & AGENCIES | Rwandan President Paul Kagame on Oct.19 swore in six new ministers appointed in a major cabinet reshuffle.

The new ministers are Minister of Defence, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Minister of Trade and Industry, Minister of Local Government, Minister of ICT and Innovation, and Minister of Gender and Family Promotion.

Women now hold about 50% of cabinet portfolios after they were named to the positions of Minister of Trade and Industry and Minister of ICT and Innovation. The cabinet, meanwhile, has been downsized from 31 to 26 members.

Kagame urged the cabinet at the swearing-in ceremony to commit to transforming Rwanda and lives of its citizens.

Other senior officials sworn in at the ceremony were new Inspector General of Police and a deputy.

The reshuffle came a week after then foreign minister Louise Mushikiwabo was elected as Secretary General of the International Organisation of La Francophonie, which represents about one third of the United Nations’ member states and accounts for a population of about 900 million people, including 274 million French speakers.

In a related development, the African Union has hailed Rwanda’s new gender-parity cabinet

The AU chairperson, Moussa Faki Mahamat, on Oct.20 congratulated President Kagame for appointing a gender-parity government.

Rwanda is the global leader in women’s representation in parliament and ranks as the 4th country on the global gender equality scale, Faki noted in a statement.

“The appointment of a gender-parity government, once again, demonstrates Rwanda’s deep and consistent commitment to women’s empowerment, including through appropriate representation and effective participation in political decision-making,” he said.

Earlier, Faki commended Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed for appointing a cabinet marked by gender parity.

The Ethiopian Parliament recently approved the appointment of 20 ministers, with women also making up half of the cabinet.

Faki encouraged other member states to emulate the example set by Rwanda and Ethiopia to gender equality and women’s empowerment.

Among the significant changes Kagame made were in the command structure of his military and police force, removing Gen. James Kabarebe from the powerful position of Defence Minister. He also dropped the long-serving police chief Emmanuel Gasana. Former Deputy IGP in charge of Operations, Dan Munyuza, takes over from Gasana who will serve as Governor of the Southern Province.

Kabarebe has been replaced by Maj Gen. Albert Murasira, a former Chief Executive Officer of Zigama Credit and Savings Society (CSS), a microfinance institution of the army. Murasira was earlier this year promoted from the rank of Brigadier to Major General.

Kabarebe was appointed Senior Defense and Security Advisor in the Office of the President, replacing Lt Col. Andrew Nyamvumba who was recently appointed military intelligence chief.

Kagame  also replaced external security boss, Brig Gen. Francis Mutiganda with Col (Rtd) Aniclet Kalibata.

Juvenal Marizamunda will serve as Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge of Administration and Personnel.

Regis Gatarayiha, who once served as the Permanent Secretary Ministry of ICT and also Director General of Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority, has been appointed Director General of Immigration and Emigration.

The new cabinet

Eduardo Ngirente – Prime Minister

Prof. Shyaka Anastase – Minister of Local Government.

Former East Africa Community Secretary General Richard Sezibera – Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

Ms Soraya Hakizumuremyi – Minister of Trade and Industry

Paula Ingabire – ICT and Innovation

Esperance Nyirasafali – Minister of Sports and Culture

Germaine Kamayirese – Minister in charge of Emergency Management

Judith Uwizeye – Minister in the Office of the President

Marie Solange Kayisire – Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister in charge of Cabinet Affairs

Dr Uzziel Ndagijimana – Minister of Finance and Economic Planning

Claver Gatete – Minister of Infrastructure

Vincent Biruta – Minister of Environment

 Geraldine Mukeshimana – Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources

Eugene Mutimura – Minister of Education

Rosemary Mbabazi – Minister of Youth

 Johnston Busingye – Minister of Justice and Attorney General

 Rwanyindo Kayirangwa – Minister of Public Service and Labour

 Diane Gashumba – Minister of Health

 Alvera Mukabaramba – Minister of State in charge of Social Affairs

Claudine Uwera – Minister of State in charge of Economic Planning

    Evode Uwizeyimana – Minister of State in charge of Constitutional and Legal Affairs

    Dr Isaac Munyakazi – Minister of State in charge of Primary and Secondary Education

    Dr Patrick Ndimubanzi – Minister of State in charge of Primary Healthcare

   Jean de Dieu Uwihanganye, Minister of State in charge of Transport

   Bwana Olivier Nduhungirehe – Minister of State in charge of the East African Community

Other appointments

Former Infrastructure Minister James Musoni – Rwandan ambassador to Zimbabwe.

Nelly Mukazayire – Rwanda Convention Bureau CEO

Jean Claude Musabyimana – Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources

Claudette Irere – Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of ICT and Innovation

Col (Rtd) Aniclet Kalibata – Director General of External Security

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