PARLIAMENT - Seven new deputies were yesterday sworn-in at Parliamentary Buildings as the Chamber of Deputies clocked exactly four years since the 2003 elections. The function was held on the last day of replacements for members of the Chamber of Deputies, meaning that no other person can join the August House for the remaining 356 days of its mandate.
The mandate of the current Lower Chamber expires on October 10, 2008.
President Paul Kagame presided over the afternoon session which saw five men and two women take the oath of office.
The new MPs are Jean Damascene Gasarabwe (PSD), Charles Kamanda (PL), Liberata Irambona (Women for Eastern Province) and Valantin Nizeyimana of RPF. Others are Jean Baptiste Rucibigango (PSR), Francois Xavier Udahemuka (PL) and Dorah Urujeni (RPF).
Gasarabwe, Rucibigango and Urujeni replaced Jacqueline Muhongayire, Abdul Karim Harerimana and Claire Kayirangwa, respectively, while Udahemuka and Kamanda replaced Elie Ngirabakunzi and Isaie Murashi respectively.
Gasarabwe and Rucibigango were once MPs during the Transitional National Assembly shortly after the 1994 Genocide. Harerimana, Muhongayire and Kayirangwa resigned recently in order to stand for the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA).
Irambona replaces Kigali City mayor Dr Asia Kirabo Kacyira, while Nizeyimana succeeds Jacqueline Mukangira, who is presently Rwanda’s ambassador to Sweden.
President Kagame called on the new MPs to take their job seriously saying that although their mandate is short, they can still make a big difference.
He appealed to deputies to be characterised by hard work and dedication to their constitutional duties during their last year in office.
Both Chambers of Parliament will soon elect Rwanda’s representatives to EALA, saying that those that will be elected will work with their counterparts from other EAC partner states to promote regional interests.