New AU role will not disrupt Gacaca – Mukantaganzwa

The Executive Secretary of Gacaca courts in Rwanda who was recently elected one of seven eminent persons in charge of monitoring governance in Africa said yesterday that her new calling will not disturb her usual work back home.
Mukantaganzwa addresses the press yesterday as she announced her appointment to NEPAD’s APRM monitoring group. (Photo J  Mbanda).
Mukantaganzwa addresses the press yesterday as she announced her appointment to NEPAD’s APRM monitoring group. (Photo J Mbanda).

The Executive Secretary of Gacaca courts in Rwanda who was recently elected one of seven eminent persons in charge of monitoring governance in Africa said yesterday that her new calling will not disturb her usual work back home.

Domitilla Mukanta-ganzwa will be part of a group of seven members on the panel of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), African Union (AU) Heads of States decided in a session held in Addis Ababa last Saturday.

APRM is an African self-monitoring arrangement under the AU that monitors political, economic and corporate governance values among willing countries on the continent.

“This is a job that will require to be done at a certain period of time. This institution [Gacaca Secretariat] is organised in a way that its work goes on even when one of its personnel is not around,” she told journalists in a press conference yesterday at her office while answering to the question whether the new appointment would not hinder Gacaca proceedings.

APRM is an initiative of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD).

President Paul Kagame’s Personal Representative to the partnership, Francis Gatare, said that members of the APRM monitoring panel are required to do ‘a lot of work’ but not forced to drop duties in their respective countries.

He emphasized that the Rwandan candidate will take innovations of her country to other African countries while executing her work with APRM.

“Her appointment means something in spreading different innovations from Rwanda as regards to solving conflicts in Africa,” he said.

Gatare who is also the Principle Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) told The New Times on Sunday that the Gacaca process that helped to expedite trials of genocide suspects in Rwanda and boosted reconciliation was cited by many African countries as an ‘innovation,’ that can be emulated in other countries to handle post-conflict judicial challenges.

Rwanda is among the first four countries that were monitored through APRM in 2005 and 2006 alongside Kenya, Ghana and Mauritius.

Its envoys were first confused about Gacaca courts as they were used to conventional courts but they finally found it a good system that can help in other countries, Gatare said.

“People from Liberia were so interested in Gacaca that they brought journalists here to make documentaries on the procedure to show it to their citizens,” he said.

Mukantaganzwa who will now be part of a group assessing how other African countries are governed and provide advice has been in public service for the last twenty years.

Apart from heading Gacaca today, she was a member of a team that wrote the current Rwandan constitution in 2003.

“I know that good governance is characterized by people’s security and their development,” she said.

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