EDITORIAL: Power-sharing is not about “eating”

Freshman Member of Parliament, Frank Habineza, has been the subject of conversation in the media over his questioning of power-sharing among Rwandan political parties.

Habineza obviously wanted a bigger part of the pie when he accused the government of going against the letter of the constitution because his political organization, the Green Party, does not have a post in the Cabinet.


He bases his arguments on the fact that the law stipulates that no one political party can occupy more than 50 per cent of the cabinet posts. Therefore power-sharing is entrenched in the constitution.


Habineza’s party has only two seats in parliament and the law does not stipulate that every political party represented in parliament should have a cabinet post. That is why the lawmaker’s thinking is very worrying; it is akin to the “eating” syndrome that marked the Rwandan governments before the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.


He seems not to have “service above self” chapter in his political manifesto. And as pointed out by the State Minister in charge of constitutional affairs, Evode Uwizeyimana, the Cabinet cannot accommodate every political party, otherwise, we would find ourselves in the same boat as some countries who want to appease every tribe and district and end up with a bloated cabinet.

Habineza still has a lot to learn about statecraft and what makes this country tick and sets it aside from many other countries, its public officers serve with a purpose, not just occupying “juicy position”, which it seems is the new lawmaker’s philosophy.

Hopefully, when he fully learns the ropes of the Rwandan state machinery, his thinking of power-sharing will change; it is never too late.


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