East Africa

Kagame swears in new ministers

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Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame on Monday made changes in the country’s cabinet bringing in new faces in a reshuffle which saw the Governor of the Central Bank swap positions with the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning.

John Rwangombwa who has been at the Ministry of Finance for about two years was moved to the National Bank of Rwanda (BNR) while his predecessor Ambassador Claver Gatete was named the new Minister of Finance.

The reshuffle also saw Prof Silas Lwakabamba named the new Minister of Infrastructure. Prior to his appointment, he was the Rector of the National University of Rwanda.

The academic replaced Albert Nsengiyumva at the helm of the Infrastructure ministry.

The latter was moved to a new portfolio of Minister of State for Education in charge of Technical and Vocation Education. Also among the new faces is Séraphine Mukantabana who is the new Ministers of Refugees and Disaster Preparedness who replaced Gen Marcel Gatsinzi who was dropped.

Oda Gasinzigwa was named Minister of Family and Gender Promotion in the Office of the Prime Minister, replacing Aloysea Inyumba who passed away in December 2012.

Prior to her appointment she was heading the country’s Gender Monitoring Office. Named among the three newly created portfolios is Dr Anita Asiimwe who is the Minister of State for Health in-charge of Public Health and Primary Healthcare.

She was heading Rwanda Biomedical Centre—a collection of different national health institutions. Evode Imena was named the Minister of State in the Ministry of Natural Resources in-charge of Mining in the fresh reshuffle.

According to the Minister of Cabinet Affairs Protais Musoni, the reshuffle is nothing to ‘speculate about’ but it is a strategic move by the Head of State to move individuals to different duties in quest for development.

“There are no reasons whatsoever, the President has the prerogative to name new ministers or change portfolios. He is mandated by the constitution to do and where possible he can think of new portfolios to be created given their importance and the need to see things done,” Mr Musoni said.

Speaking at the swearing in ceremony at the country’s parliament, President Kagame said that the old and the new faces have equally contributed to the country’s development in one way or another.

“Be it the outgoing ones, or the ones whose duties have been changed, each one of them has been contributing to the country’s development, while the new ones bring something new to the team.

They will complement the ones already there,” President Kagame said. He told the new officials that the country faces ‘extraordinary challenges’ given its unique history and that it is through hard work that the country can confront its troubles.

Mr Rwangombwa and Amb. Gatete have been key figures behind the country’s frugal monetary and economic strategies while Prof Lwakabamba is credited for transforming the country’s top public universities. Prior to joining the National University of Rwanda, he was the Rector of Kigali Institute of Science and Technology.


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