Donatille Mukabalisa, 58, retained her seat as Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies as a new-look legislative assembly was sworn-in at the Parliamentary Buildings in Kimihurura yesterday.
Mukabalisa, who ran unopposed, was unanimously elected speaker of the 4th Lower House by all the 80 members.
She is the president of opposition Liberal Party (PL).
Mukabalisa was fronted by RPF-Inkotanyi’s Marie Médiatrice Izabiriza before she went on to collect 100 per cent of the votes cast by the Fourth Lower House.
Former High Commissioner to Canada, Edda Mukabagwiza, of RPF-Inkotanyi, was elected Deputy Speaker in charge of Government Oversight and Legislation with 75 votes, beating Hindura Jean Pierre (PSD) who got only 5 votes.
Former Internal Security Minister Sheikh Musa Fazil Harerimana was elected Deputy Speaker in charge of Finance and Administration, beating fellow newcomer Frank Habineza, of the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda, to the post with 76 votes against four votes.
Speaking shortly after swearing in, Mukabalisa noted that having 61 per cent of women in the new Lower House was a reflection of inclusive leadership, and trusting that women can work hand-in-hand with men to foster national transformation.
“The 3rd parliament did many good things and we are committed to achieving even more,” she said.
“We thank Rwandans for their trust in us. We will work together with all institutions and Rwandans in general to effectively deliver on our constitutional mandate.”
Mukabalisa’s comments were echoed by Harerimana of the Ideal Democratic Party (PDI).
“We come to this parliament from various political parties but with one goal of delivering this country to total transformation.
“Specifically for PDI, we entered into a coalition with the governing RPF-Inkotanyi because we fully support President Kagame’s seven-year programme. Our job is to ensure that we constitute laws that will facilitate the implementation of that programme and also hold the Executive to account in terms of implementation and deliverables,” Harerimana said.
The Chamber of Deputies is composed of 80 seats, including 53 seats for political parties, 24 for women representatives, 2 seats for youth and 1 seat for people living with disabilities.
What MPS say
Clarisse Imaniriho, 23, Youth MP
I will work with my colleagues to examine government programmes and policies and see how best they can best be achieved and how they can benefit the young people.
After all, the future belongs to us.
Ignatienne Nyirarukundo (Southern Province)
I think our role as the 4th parliament is to promote improved agriculture through advancing technology and all that is needed by the farmers to increase their output.
There is also a big gap is our education sector. We have come a long way but I believe more can be done to improve the quality of education in Rwanda. We need to see graduates coming out of universities with more skills and knowledge than it is at the moment.
Claver Rwaka (RPF-Inkotanyi)
What we need to improve most is getting closer to the people. It is from them and through them that we get to understand real issues hindering their progress and, in so doing, we will be able to do advocacy that will lead to inclusive development.
The only way we can push for inclusiveness in economic transformation is through getting out of our offices and go down in the villages and listen to the views of the common people.
Frank Habineza (Democratic Green Party)
It’s been a long journey for our party to be where we are today, 10 years of continued pushing and resilience. This is a big step for us as a party but also for our country that is matching towards wider political space.
My role is to push for the culture of debate in our parliament. I think it is important to do all we can to represent the ideas of every Rwandan out there who wants faster and sustainable progress of our country.