Mitali resigns as Liberal Party president

Rwanda’s Ambassador to Ethiopia, Protais Mitali, who also doubled as the president of Liberal Party (PL) has resigned from the party leadership on grounds that he was no longer in position to discharge his responsibilities while out of the country.
PL interim president Donatille Mukabalisa (L), and second vice-president Francois Byabarumwanzi, during the party congress yesterday. (Sam Ngendahimana)
PL interim president Donatille Mukabalisa (L), and second vice-president Francois Byabarumwanzi, during the party congress yesterday. (Sam Ngendahimana)

Rwanda’s Ambassador to Ethiopia, Protais Mitali, who also doubled as the president of Liberal Party (PL) has resigned from the party leadership on grounds that he was no longer in position to discharge his responsibilities while out of the country.

Mitali’s resignation was endorsed by the party’s national congress yesterday after the Speaker of Parliament, Donatilla Mukabalisa, who also doubles as PL’s first vice-president read out the resignation letter. In the letter, Mitali handed over power to Mukabalisa as the interim leader of the party.

“Considering my recent appointment as ambassador, I may not be in position to execute my duties as president of PL. I leave the office to the first vice-president, Mukabalisa,” reads Mitali’s resignation letter in part.

Reacting to the development, Mukabalisa said Mitali remains a member of the party and that his resignation does not affect the activities of the party.

“The reasons for his resignation are very clear. Being a party president requires someone to be in the country. With his job as ambassador, he was not going to be in position to lead the party effectively so he opted to resign,” Mukabalisa said.

Embezzlement allegations

In a related development, some officials within the party are accusing their former president of embezzlement and mismanagement of party funds although others deny this, saying that Mitali had actually lent out money to the party that he later recovered.

When asked about the matter, Mukabalisa could neither deny nor confirm the allegations.

“We have commissioned an audit. At the moment, we have to wait for the audit report,” she said.

In a telephone interview from Addis, Mitali denied any form of malpractices saying that the audit report will clear the air.

“What I can say now is that there are no missing funds. Every coin is accounted for and the audit report will clear that. There is no cause for alarm,” Mitali said.

A local online news agency; www.igihe.com carried a story yesterday that alleged Mitali had embezzled Rwf50 million.

Meanwhile, during the congress, the party reviewed its five-year strategic plan.

“We have built strong party structures to help us achieve our goal of ensuring the welfare of all Rwandans,” Mukabalisa said.

Constitutional amendment

With the increasing public demand to amend the Constitution regarding presidential term limits, the PL congress tasked its political bureau to collect views from its members across the country and report back in two weeks time.

“We serve the interests of the people. Some of those that have asked for the amendment of the constitution are members of our party and this is why we have tasked the political bureau to seek people’s views and report to us in two weeks,” Mukabalisa said.

Although the issue was not part of the agenda, it was raised by Amb. Joseph Nsengimana who said that it’s a matter that needs to be discussed since it has become a centre of debate across the country.

Nsengimana is the immediate former ambassador to Ethiopia.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

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