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Rwanda: Cabinet resolutions of April 14,2010

Government of Rwanda

On Wednesday, 14 April 2010, a Cabinet meeting chaired by the President of the Republic, H.E. Paul KAGAME was convened at Village URUGWIRO.

Cabinet started its session by welcoming a new Cabinet Minister, General James KABAREBE, Minister of Defence.

1. Cabinet approved decisions taken in its earlier meeting of 01/04/2010 after a few amendments.

2. Cabinet heard a presentation on the Budget Framework Paper for the year 2010/11- 2012/13 and the Draft Finance Law.

3. Cabinet approved a draft law establishing the institution of governance and determining its mission, organisation and functioning (Rwanda Governance Board/RGB).

4. Cabinet approved the revised organizational structure of the Ministry of Local Government (MINALOC).

5. Cabinet approved the revised structure of District and Sector.

6. Cabinet put in place the Kigali City Construction One Stop Centre. Within the same framework, Cabinet further approved the Client Charter on land administration and land acquisition to speed up investment facilitation and requested that all stakeholders be informed.

7. Cabinet approved the following orders:

– A Presidential Order appointing ACP Joseph MUGISHA to the post of Director of the Rwanda Police Academy.
– A Prime Minister’s Order authorizing Mr. Prosper MUSAFIRI to suspend service for unspecified period of time.
– A Prime Minister’s Order removing the plot and buildings on Avenue de l’Armée in Nyarugenge District from State Public Property and transferring it into State Private property.
– A Prime Minister’s Order removing from office Mr. Vincent UZARAMA, who was RRA Assistant Commissioner in charge of Small and Medium-Taxpayers Department.
– A Ministerial Order determining the modalities of declaration of the enterprise, workers and nature of employer register.
– A Draft Ministerial Order fixing the period, modalities for payment and amount to be paid for funeral indemnities.

8. Cabinet approved a new system for computing the funds Government allocates to each District as part of their budget support. This new system is based on the number of inhabitants of a District, the level of poverty and the number of its sectors.

9. Cabinet approved that 60% of Government shares in Mata and Gisakura Tea factories be sold to Tea Group Investments Ltd, a company which won the tender.

10. Cabinet supported the format of the revised Assets Declaration Form.

11. Cabinet appointed senior staff as follows:

• In Parliament, Chamber of Deputies :

Mr. Justin HATUNGIMANA, Principal Researcher;

• In Supreme Court :

Mr. Fred GASHEMEZA, Director General in charge of ICT

• In MINICOM /RBS :

Ms. Annonciata MUJAWAMARIYA, Director of Administration and Human Resource Management Unit.
• In MINECOFIN :
1. Madamu Enatha DUSENGE, Director General of Corporate Services;
2. Mr. Caleb RWAMUGANZA, Deputy Accountant General in charge of Treasury Management;
3. Mr. Christophe NSENGIYAREMYE, Fiscal Decentralization Coordinator;
4. Mr. Ronald NKUSI, Financial Resources Mobilisation Coordinator.
12. In A.O.B.:

a) Cabinet requested acceleration of the Kigali Industrial Park and Free Trade Zone projects.

b) The Minister of Local Government informed Cabinet that the usual meeting bringing together leaders from Local Government and Central Government will take place on 26-27 April 2010 and requested all those concerned to attend.

c) The Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources informed Cabinet that strategies were devised to move Rwanda’s agriculture from subsistence to market-oriented farming.

d) The Minister of Gender and Family Promotion called on Cabinet members in their respective Districts to remind to parents and all concerned the importance of keeping a kitchen garden with vegetables as part of fighting poor diet among children causing their anemia.

e) The Minister in charge of ICT informed Cabinet that Rwanda has applied for the post of International Telecommunications Council (ITU Council) member.

f) The Minister of Forestry and Mines briefed Cabinet on negotiations’ progress towards an agreement with the New Forestry Company (NFC) on tree management and harvesting in the buffer zone of Nyungwe Forest and building a wooden products manufacturing factory in Rwanda. He further informed Cabinet on progress of agreement with the Ecosystem Restoration Association (ERA) relating to tree planting in the Gishwati Forest zone formerly left to local residents but later on included in the forest zone because it was found to be a very high risk zone.

Cabinet was happy with the progress made and requested that both agreements be quickly finalized to be submitted to Cabinet for approval.

g) The Minister of Internal Security informed Cabinet that as part of celebrations for the tenth anniversary of the Rwanda National Police, preliminary and preparatory celebrations will begin on 19 April 2010.

This statement was signed by

Protais MUSONI
Minister in charge of Cabinet Affairs

April 19, 2010   No Comments

Rwandan President Paul Kagame wants a safer Rwanda … safer for whom?

by Godwin Agaba and Ann Garrison

Introduction by San Francisco journalist Ann Garrison

Godwin Agaba, Rwandan correspondent for the African Great Lakes regional outlet 256.com, is now in hiding, though still reporting. On March 9, I spoke to him for KPFA Radio regarding grenade attacks in Rwanda’s capital, Kigali, in the run up to this year’s presidential election, scheduled for Aug. 9:

This week Godwin Agaba confirmed what I had concluded: that Rwanda’s presidential election is effectively closed; all the viable opposition has been excluded.

The ruling Rwandan Patriotic Front Party has taken over the Parti Social-Imberakuri and ousted its candidate, Bernard Ntaganda, whom many expect to be in prison soon, for “genocide ideology,” a speech crime unique to Rwanda which I have explained here in the Bay View. Rwandan security is also investigating Victoire Ingabiré Umuhoza, presidential candidate of the FDU Inkingi Party, for the genocide ideology speech crime, and the government has announced that she will not be allowed to run until she is cleared – meaning that she will not be allowed to run.

And the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda continues to be halted at military bureaucratic roadblocks and checkpoints, enduring meeting after meeting about whether they might have another meeting about the possibility of having yet another meeting to determine whether or not their party might finally be able to meet so as to register and field a presidential candidate.

On April 14, the government shut down the independent African language (Kinyarwanda) tabloid press for the next six months. Since 70 percent of the population speak only Kinyarwanda, not English or French, and only 3 percent have internet access, this means that most will have no information except that in state run newspapers from now until well after the Aug. 9 polls.

European Union election monitors are scheduled to travel to Rwanda but there is nothing left to observe except the effective coronation of incumbent Rwandan President Paul Kagame. The election monitors should stay home in protest rather than validate this charade, unless by some miracle “donor nations,” most of all the U.S. and U.K., choose to heed the Feingold Statement on the Fragility of Democracy in Africa and make civil and political rights, and a real election, a condition of their ongoing support for Rwanda.

Rwandans’ thwarted effort to contest the presidential election is also of great importance to the people of neighboring D.R. Congo, where at least 6 million Congolese people have died in the Rwandan and Ugandan invasions and occupations of Congo since Kagame seized control of Rwanda during the 1994 Rwanda Genocide.
The silence of the U.S. press about the loss of African life and U.S. Pentagon responsibility is deafening.

Editorial by Rwandan journalist Godwin Agaba

Godwin Agaba

Anyone who has been following events in Rwanda over the last few weeks will agree with me that it is now clear what President Paul Kagame really wants.
A safer Rwanda!
A Rwanda where there is no political upheaval, no opposition politics, no sentimental politicians, no old friends, no dissent and, above all, no critical newspapers to report the prevailing “peace and tranquility.
”Presidential elections will go ahead as planned in August and when the dust has settled in September, those still living will witness a sympathetic, loving and caring president, a head of state ready to forgive and forget as he embarks on another seven year term as head of state. How cool is that!

Gen. Marcel Gatsinzi will be hauled to court to answer the genocide charges that continue to linger around his back before being thrown into jail.
Lt. Gen. Charles Kayonga will be sent to Rwanda’s Pentagon and given a few challenging but less empowering tasks and Gen. Kabarebe will most likely retire.
Rwandans will have a newly elected leader and The New Times will struggle not to lead with the PK [Paul Kagame] rigs to set a new world record!

The High Council of the Press will come up with yet another silly document which Patrice Mulama, posing in front of cameras, will read confirming that Umuseso and Umuvugizi newspapers have been reinstated.
It will be business as usual and the international community will continue to pour money into Rwanda with the aim of ending poverty and fostering economic development.

Right path? Don’t ask me for I really don’t know.

What is clear though is that Paul Kagame, having commanded the forces that he says ended the genocide and helped restore order in chaotic Rwanda, has embarked on a self-destructing campaign.

He will stop at nothing to make himself clear and louder to all that Rwanda belongs to him and only he knows what is good for the country.

He does not even appear bothered by the idea of ruling the country as if it is some family ranch, because according to what he knows, he is popular, charismatic and knows his country’s history better than anyone else.

And who are we to challenge him? What exactly do we know?

To him we are rejects who should either shut up or put up with whatever nonsense is being paraded as long as we rise up at the end of the day to toss to the monsieur – only this time, in English!

Make no mistake: The president is in charge.

When coup rumors went around a month ago, he was very stern as he was precise in his assurances to his audience that Rwanda will never have a coup.
“A coup in Rwanda, never … not here,” he said.

If that was a statement that lacked the marrow, he made certain a few days ago with impromptu changes in the army.
Gen. Gatsinzi, the hitherto docile defense minister, was dropped for a close friend (former friend some will argue), Gen. James Kabarebe.

On April 14, President Kagame announced a six-month shutdown of these two newspapers, Rwanda’s only independent papers printed in Kinyarwanda, the only language spoken by 70 percent of the population. Since only 3 percent have access to the internet, that leaves most Rwandans with no other perspective on the news but that of the government-run media. Umuseso editor Didas Gasana is preparing for a lawsuit challenging the suspension of his newspaper. – Photo: KigaliWire1, http://www.facebook.com/l/23bad;bit.ly/aTu5sN

Lt. Gen. Charles Kayonga, who many basing their conviction on local media reports thought was under house arrest, got in to replace Gen. Kabarebe.
Some will argue this was a tactical move by the man in charge.
Technically demote the popular Gen. Kabarebe by making him defense minister and bring Kayonga closer in a more demanding position where he can be checked on and made too busy to even think of a coup.
I’m not very knowledgeable about the finer intricacies of army changes but speculation has never been my specialty either.
It is very plausible though that it is much easier to look after and maintain an eye on a chief of defense forces than it is on someone who is head of land forces.
For the sake of the issue at hand, I will take what the official version is and leave the rest to you, my readers.
Fortunately, there is no official version of the changes, just a routine reshuffle.

Political temperatures in Kigali continue to rise. Kagame continues to impress. He seems very popular with the wanainchi [the people, citizens or masses] or at least it looks that way whenever he pays them visits.
Opposition politics in Rwanda remains a far cry.
Those who have dared to challenge the establishment now find themselves in limbo fearing not only for their lives but, at the moment, for their political parties as well.

Victoire Ingabire has been summoned to the Criminal Investigations Department more times than she has been allowed to go to church unattended.
She is religious, but the government would rather she was not.
Religious people get to meet others when they go to church. And when you don’t want someone to mix with others for fear that they will talk about their political agenda, you so wish they were pagans.

Those who have dared to challenge the establishment now find themselves in limbo fearing not only for their lives but, at the moment, for their political parties as well.

Frank Habineza, another of the political hopefuls, a former Rwandese Patriotic Front member who broke ranks to form the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda – a party whose registration seems to bother Kagame more than the poverty in the country – is not having it smooth either.
He has on several occasions been in the news complaining about scary emails and intimidating phone calls from state agents who continue to threaten him unless he gets out of politics.

Bernard Ntaganda, who until a week ago was party chairman for Rwanda’s only vocal political party, PS-Imberakuri, was successfully ousted by a party wrangle within his own party that many believe was orchestrated by the ruling Rwanda Patriotic Front.

With these under control, in dissaray, under investigation or currently being accused of one or several offences, Kagame will definitely emerge as the one and only presidential candidate come August. He will achieve what he has set out to achieve – ruling Rwanda – forever.
And as long as the elections are held at the hindsight of local and international observers, we will have no legal reason to believe that his victory was manipulated.

The media, which in such an environment would have provided credible evidence as to the real situation on the ground, has been manipulated.
Those like Umuseso, who have not been so keen at accepting government tokens, have now been suspended.
The six months suspension effectively rules out Umuseso in the media life of Rwandans until, well, after the elections.
If that is not calculated, then I stand to be corrected as to whether Kagame is not preparing himself to be the father figure and self-appointed Lord of Rwanda he wishes and claims to be.

Godwin Agaba was a Rwandan correspondent for Great Lakes regional outlet 256.com; he is now in hiding but still publishing without his byline.

On April 7, 2010, in his address at the Kigali Memorial Center, Rwandan President Paul Kagame blamed “you,” a conveniently flexible and expandable category, and all those calling for political space and press freedom for the 1994 Rwanda Genocide, in which a million Rwandans died.
This is the English language section of his English and Kinyarwanda address particularly concerned with press freedom.
For the entire English language section of the address, click here. One week after this address, on April 14, 2010, Kagame’s “High Media Council” shut down the independent African language newspapers that most Rwandans depend on.

April 19, 2010   No Comments