Rwanda: Kagame Urges Hard Work as New Senators Are Sworn in

22 October 2020

President Paul Kagame on Thursday, October 22, officiated at the swearing-in of six new senators.

The new members of the Upper Chamber of Parliament include four senators that were last week appointed by the President and two others who were elected through the Consultative Forum for Political Parties in Rwanda.

The President's appointees are Jean-Pierre Dusingizemungu, Epiphanie Kanziza, André Twahirwa, and Evode Uwizeyimana.

Those appointed by Forum of Political Parties are Alexis Mugisha from Democratic Green Party of Rwanda and Clotilde Mukakarangwa who belongs to Centrist Democratic Party (PDC).

In his address, Kagame said that the new senators bring new energy to the parliament, and will help in the country's development.

"As always, the newly sworn-in senators have different backgrounds and represent people of different origins of our country. I believe they are bringing new energy, ideas and experience that will help us develop our country."

The President also went on to highlight current challenges Rwanda is facing which are underpinned by the Covid-19 pandemic, emphasizing the need for more efforts to overcome these challenges.

He said: "We came from far as a country, and we are heading afar. Along the way, we face several challenges, both local and those we share with the rest of the world such as the Covid-19 pandemic.

"As the challenges we face increase, we have to multiply the efforts in solving them. Where we have attained considerable development, we should not be complacent, but keep investing more effort," he said.

Kagame also said that coming out of a bad situation brought about by Covid-19 will be a process, and therefore require patience.

"We are doing everything possible within our means to mitigate the consequences of this pandemic. But the solutions to these challenges don't come as fast as we wish, it requires perseverance," he said.

The President was among others referring to recent complaints about the hike in public transport fare, which required the intervention of the Prime Minister.

In response, the government suspended the increased transport prices by subsidizing the cost of public transport to account for the economic effects of the pandemic on passengers.

The Senate is composed of 26 members - some elected, others appointed by different players.

They serve a five-year term, renewable once, although former heads of the state are not subject to term limits.

The constitution requires that at least 30 percent of elected and appointed senators must be women.

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