8 September 2017

Rwanda: Senate Approves Eight New Heads of Institutions

Photo: New Times
Clockwise, the new officials approved by Senate; Anastase Murekezi (Chief Ombudsman), Eric Serubibi (Rwanda Housing Authority), Kampeta Sayinzoga (National Industrial Research Development Agency), Seraphine Mukantabana (Rwanda Demobilisation and Reintegration Commission), Gilbert Habyarimana (Rwanda Cooperative Agency), Fred Mufulukye (Eastern Province governor), Jean Marie Vianney Gatabazi (Northern Province governor), and Edouard Bamporiki (National Itorero Commission).

The Senate Thursday approved eight public officials who were last week appointed to lead various agencies, with some suggesting an audit into the institutions before the doors are opened to their new leadership.

Senator Perrine Mukankusi wondered if the appointees were not curious to take on their new offices starting on a clean slate.

"Is it not necessary that the new officials first conduct an audit into these offices before they take them up so that they know exactly the magnitude of the issues that they have to deal with?" she asked.

The officials include Anastase Murekezi, who was appointed the new Ombudsman; Kampeta Sayinzoga, who was appointed the Director-General of the National Industrial Research Development Agency (NIRDA); Seraphine Mukantabana, who was appointed to head the Rwanda Demobilisation and Reintegration Commission (RDRC); and Gilbert Habyarimana, the new Director-General of the Rwanda Cooperative Agency (RCA).

Others are Eric Serubibi, appointed to the position of Rwanda Housing Authority (RHA); and Edouard Bamporiki, who is to head the National Itorero Commission.

The others include Jean Marie Vianney Gatabazi; who was appointed Governor of Northern Province; and Fred Mufulukye, who was appointed Governor of the Eastern Province.

The president of the Senatorial Commission of Political Affairs and Good Governance Committee, Jean-Damascene Sindikubwabo, told the senators that the committee, which had spent many hours vetting the appointees, was satisfied with what each of the candidates was bringing to the table.

Going into specifics, he said Mufurukye had drawn out a plan aimed to tackle two main priority areas.

"Mufurukye is interested in dealing with the issue of drought, which continues to be a big challenge for people in Eastern Province. He plans to seek immediate funding for irrigation schemes to spur agriculture in the province," he said.

Senator Sindikubwabo said the commission's discussions with Sayinzoga had rotated around her goal to change the perception that NIRDA was more into research and instead position it as an institution that was keen on industrial development.

He said Sayinzoga's priority areas of focus will include fixing the issue of quality of exports by conducting a study on how small industries can be supported to grow.

Sayinzoga reportedly told the committee of the issue of industries that started small and had potential but collapsed and those that were big and are no longer in business, and indicated her resolve to work toward facilitating the growth of such firms.

However, not all senators were convinced by the appraisals, with Narcisse Musabeyezu taking issues with the new governors for not spelling out how they intended to work with grassroots authorities in fixing issues.

Referring to Mufurukye, Senator Musabeyezu suggested that the committee should have advised him better.

"When I read what the governor was saying, I was disappointed that all I heard was what they were going to do but nothing on how he will work with mayors, for instance. He has many good ideas but he is a policy person and the implementers are the districts and other grassroots people," he said.

The officials are expected to swear in next week.

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