10 October 2018

Rwanda: Lower House Sets Up New Standing Committees, Elects Heads

Members of Parliament on Tuesday elected chairpersons and vice chairpersons of the nine standing committees through which legislative and government oversight activities will be conducted in the next five years.

First time legislator, Jean-Chrysostome Ngabitsinze was elected chairperson of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), which was since institution headed by Juvénal Nkusi.

Nkusi did not contest in the parliamentary elections that were held last month.

Both Ngabitsinze and Nkusi come from the Social Democratic Party.

Ngabitsinze, who will be deputized by Annonciata Mukarugwiza, will have a daunting task of heading the committee that will work to ensure public resources are all accounted for.

During an interview with The New Times, Ngabitsinze, who holds a PhD in agricultural economics, said that together with fellow committee members, they will build on what their predecessors achieved to ensure every public penny spent is accounted for.

"My view is that we can use the little resources we have as a country to make tremendous things out of it. Our work as a committee will be to analyse the use of funds and see if they are used optimally," he said.

He said their committee will not hesitate to recommend action against any institution or individuals faulted for mismanagement of funds.

Ngabitsinze was before his election as MP a lecturer at the University of Rwanda and has served on different boards of parastatals, including the National Agriculture Export Board (NAEB) which he has chaired since 2016.

Mukarugwiza was a member of the last parliament where she was deputy chairperson of the standing committee on national budget and patrimony.

Three women are heading committees. Christine Muhongayire will head the Committee on Social Affairs, and Elisabeth Mukamana is new Chairperson of the committee on unity, human rights and the fight against Genocide. The other one is Ignatienne Nyirarukundo, who will be deputized by Veneranda Nyirahirwa at the helm of the committee on agriculture, livestock and environment.

Meanwhile, Omar Munyaneza was elected Chairperson of Committee on National Budget and Patrimony while Fransesca Tengera Twikirize elected Vice Chairperson.

Another new entrant, Frank Habineza of the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda, was elected vice chairperson of the committee on social affairs.

Théogène Munyangeyo was elected chairperson of committee on economy and trade and he will be deputized by one time Governor of Eastern Province Odette Uwamariya.

Janvier Kabeya Kanyamashuli was elected to chair the committee on political affairs and gender and he is to be deputed by Jeanne Henriette Mukabikino.

The committee on education, technology and culture was put under Damien Nyabyenda and Madina Ndangiza as chairperson and vice-chairperson respectively.

Others are Fidèle Rwigamba who was elected chairperson of committee on foreign affairs and cooperation where he will be deputized by Iphigenie Mukandera.

Mukamana will be deputized by Francis Karemera in the committee on unity, human rights and fight against Genocide.


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