Speaker: New Lower House will work with dedication

Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies Donatille Mukabalisa (right) speaks at the opening of the House’s first sitting as Vice Speaker Sheikh Musa Fazil Harelimana looks on at Parliament yesterday. Nadege Imbabazi.

Members of the new Lower House will work with dedication and will be at the centre of national transformation in the next five years, the Speaker has said.

Donatille Mukabalisa gave the assurance yesterday while officiating at the opening of the Lower House’s first sitting, which marked the beginning of the Fourth Chamber of Deputies’ business.

At their first session yesterday, the legislators officially started Parliament’s third ordinary session of the year, which will run until December 4 when they will take a break.

The MPs agreed on the agenda of their work for the next two months, which will mainly include assessing any draft laws that will be submitted to them and initiate activities in line with oversight of Government activities.

The Speaker of the Lower House said that the legislators are ready to work with dedication to help fast-track the country’s development in line with citizens’ wishes.

“There is no doubt that we will work with commitment as we promised when we took our oaths for this position,” Mukabalisa told fellow MPs, also thanking them for having elected her to be their Speaker.

She said that all the MPs in the Chamber will work together to fulfil their responsibilities as expected by citizens who sent them to Parliament to represent them and that they will be at the centre of the country’s development.

“We will be catalysts for a fast transformation of our country,” she said.

The Lower Chamber of Parliament is made up of 80 members.

Prior to starting their work in earnest yesterday, the incoming MPs went through a two-week induction under which they were briefed on various things, including on the status and rationale behind different government policies and strategies such as the National Strategy for Transformation (NST1), how the country’s budget is prepared, and how Parliament oversees government’s activities among other aspects.

Some of the MPs already have an idea of how they want to contribute to the Parliament’s work, whether it’s following up on the government’s programmes or being closer to citizens.

MP Frank Habineza, of the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda, told Saturday Times on Thursday that he hopes to sit with other MPs and agree on a plan on how to further reach out to citizens across the country.

“In the next two months, we will focus on having an agreeable plan on citizen outreach and see if it will be possible for each district to have at least two MPs focusing on it, like is the case for members of the cabinet,” he said.

As for MP John Ruku-Rwabyoma, of the RPF-Inkotanyi, he wants to strengthen the culture of accountability to help the country move faster with its development plans.

“We are staying the course at a faster pace with accountability,” he said in an interview on Thursday.

 

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

 

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