The Senate on Tuesday approved several nominees for various positions, including five heads of parastatals and an ambassador-designate.
The officials were nominated by cabinet slightly over a week ago.
They include Francis Kabera Gatare, the chief executive of the Rwanda Mines, Petroleum and Gas Board; Prof. Manasseh Mbonye, the new director-general of National Council of Sciences and Technology; and Josephine Mukesha, the new director-general, National Identification Agency (NIDA).
Also approved is Espérance Mukamana, the director-general, Rwanda Land Management and Use Authority, who doubles as the chief registrar of land titles
Others are Prime Ngabonziza, the director-general of Rwanda Water and Forestry Authority; and Monique Mukaruliza, the high commissioner to Lusaka, Zambia.
But commenting about Gatare’s appointment, some senators initially wondered if he had requisite knowledge of the mining industry since he’s from a different background.
Senator Tito Rutaremara, who sits on the Senate's Standing Committee on Political Affairs and Good Governance, which vetted the particular nominees, told the Upper House that from various discussions, all members had proven their capabilities and even offered significant insights into what they had in store.
He said that Gatare would primarily work as a coordinator while the technical work will be done by geologists and other experts.
“Gatare will deliver, especially because he has been a member of the cabinet closely following the progress of this sector all the time. He was an advisor to the President in 2009 and even told us the need to speed up the mapping process and urgently streamlining the sector. We learnt many things from them yet we were the ones vetting them,” he said.
Referring to Mukaruliza, who relinquishes her office as Mayor of the City of Kigali to take over as High Commissioner in Lusaka, Zambia, the vice chair of the commission, Senator Gertrude Kazarwa, said she had enough experience in public service and was aware of the responsibilities that came with her new appointment.
Senator Kazarwa said that Mukaruliza plans to use her time in office to make more people understand the current affairs of Rwanda since many seem unaware of the progress the country has made.
She will also handle the issue of repatriation of Rwandan nationals who remain in refugee camps in Southern Africa, she added.
“She told us her intention is to focus especially on the youth who she says mostly have no cases to answer back home as may be the case with some of the adults. She wants to hold discussions with Rwandan refugees with view to encouraging them to return home and join their compatriots in rebuilding their country,” she said.
Thousands of Rwandans remain in Zambia as well as several other Southern African countries and few who have since returned home have cited lack of accurate information about the country among the Rwandan communities there.
Many are said to be fed falsehoods perpetuated by particularly Genocide perpetrators who would rather stay in self-exile for fear of being brought to book back home.
More than a million Rwandans were killed during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.