Mushikiwabo in Senate today

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Government Spokesperson, Louise Mushikiwabo, yesterday confirmed she would, today, appear before the Senate but denied reports that she will be grilled on the diplomatic relations between Rwanda and South Africa.
Louise Mushikiwabo (File photo)
Louise Mushikiwabo (File photo)

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Government Spokesperson, Louise Mushikiwabo, yesterday confirmed she would, today, appear before the Senate but denied reports that she will be grilled on the diplomatic relations between Rwanda and South Africa.

In an interview with The New Times yesterday, Mushikiwabo said that her appearance in the Senate is not “solely” about the diplomatic relation between Rwanda and South Africa but part of routine discussions to brief the Senators on the country’s foreign policy.

“I would have appeared in the Senate two months ago but I was distracted by a number of travels and a busy schedule. Usually the Senators call me when they need to be briefed about the country’s foreign policy and parliamentary diplomacy,” Mushikiwabo said.

Speculation was rife that the Senate had summoned the Minister to explain a tilt in the relations between the two countries after Rwanda expressed discontent about the way South Africa was conducting investigations into the shooting of Rwanda’s former Ambassador to India Kayumba Nyamwasa.

Last week, Mushikiwabo, summoned the South African High Commissioner to Rwanda, Gladstone Dumisani Gwadiso, to express the government’s concerns over the manner in which investigations were being conducted after it emerged in the media that South African officials seemed to be implicating Rwanda in the shooting.

Mushikiwabo, however, did not rule out the possibility of the issue being part of the whole discussion but insisted that there was nothing strange about it.

“The Senate said that that the discussion will be on different issues regarding the country’s foreign policy. There is no question, therefore, if South Africa comes up because Rwanda has diplomatic relations with South Africa---there is nothing unusual,” Mushikiwabo said.

Last week Mushikiwabo tabled before the South African envoy, Rwanda’s protest of how some of its citizens are being mistreated in South Africa in relation to the Nyamwasa incident.

A Rwandan citizen Francis Gakwerere who had earlier been arrested as a suspect but later released after it was found that that he had had no connection to the shooting had his property confiscated with no genuine explanation.

Some of the property that were illegally confiscated from Gakwerere, a businessman, include his wallet, money, identification documents and a watch

Rwanda also raised concerns over possible manipulation of the investigations by Nyamwasa and his entourage, pointing out that his brother-in-law took part in interrogations of the suspects at the John Foster High Risk Prison.

Other concerns raised by the minister included the delayed arrest and questioning of Nyamwasa’s driver, yet he had confessed of being involved in a plot to kill the General.

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