26 February 2013

Rwanda: Kagame Urges Team Work As New Ministers Are Sworn in

Photo: Eric Miller/WEF
President Paul Kagame (file photo).

President Paul Kagame has tasked new ministers, who were sworn in yesterday, to work with other members of the Cabinet in order to develop the country.

In a 15-minute speech delivered to Members of Parliament, top government officials, members of the diplomatic corps, and the general public yesterday, Kagame thanked the incumbent ministers for their work and those that are joining for accepting to continue serving the people, albeit in different capacities.

He urged the team to work towards achieving more with less.

"We have to work in an extra-ordinary way. There is no time to waste; there is no time to be lazy, and there is no time for being careless. That's what our history reminds us," he said, adding, "I would like to ask you to work together so that we can continue to develop our country."

The President faulted the international community for not only standing by as over a million Rwandans were annihilated during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, but also turning the victims of that tragedy into the perpetrators and the perpetrators into the victims.

"They used justice as a political tool and turned the victims into perpetrators...this is our unique history, which we must come to grips with and stand up for ourselves," added the Head of State.

He added, "Do not be afraid to stand up for the truth, for justice and for what we believe in...

"Our circumstances mean that we must continue to work hard, build on what we have to achieve even more, we must define our own destiny."

President Kagame reshuffled his Cabinet on Monday, bringing in new faces and creating three new portfolios.

Amb. Claver Gatete and John Rwangombwa switched positions with the former taking over as Minister of Finance and the latter appointed Governor of the central bank.

Other new faces include former rector of the National University of Rwanda (NUR) Prof. Silas Lwakabamba who was appointed Minister of Infrastructure, and former commissioner in the Demobilisation and Reintegration Commission Séraphine Mukantabana, who is now the Minister for Refugees and Disaster Management. She replaces General Marcel Gatsinzi.

Three new ministers of state who head new portfolios were also sworn in.

Dr Anita Asiimwe is the State Minister in charge of Public Health and Primary Healthcare in the Ministry of Health, former Infrastructure minister Albert Nsengiyumva is now the State Minister in charge of Technical and Vocational Education and Training in the Ministry of Education, while Evode Imena is now the Minister of State in charge of Mining in the Ministry of Natural Resources.

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