The newly appointed State Minister for Primary and Secondary Education, Théoneste Mutsindashyaka, has vowed to bring about significant improvement in the country’s education system.
“I will try to improve our children’s education and the results will be manifested,” said the man who was until Friday the governor of the Eastern Province.
Mutsindashyaka is well known among Kigali City dwellers because he was their mayor before moving to the Eastern Province two years ago, but this time, he returns to the capital wielding powers of a cabinet minister.
His appointment is one of those the public deems remarkable, coming into a ministry which many say was partly failing for lack of leaders daring enough to make radical decisions.
Mutsindashyaka replaces Joseph Murekeraho who was dropped.
The 45 year-old however yesterday declined to give more comments on his new job, saying that he was still preoccupied with issues in the Eastern Province.
Mutsindashyaka graduated with a first degree in physics from the National University of Rwanda, and has previously occupied various government positions.
He worked as director of cabinet in the former Ministry of Youths, Sports and Culture –the ministry was split into two in last week’s reshuffle – and the Ministry of Internal Security Affairs, before becoming a secretary general in the Ministry of Public Service, Skills Development and Labour.
He served as Kigali City Mayor for five years before he was transferred to become Governor of the Eastern Province over two years ago.
Mutsindashyaka comes to a ministry that has been rid of two ministers – Jeanne d’Arc Mujawamariya and Murekeraho.
Mutsindashyaka will now serve under Dr Daphrosa Gahakwa, who was appointed the Education minister.
Gahakwa, who holds a Doctorate in genetic engineering from John Innes Centre, University of East Anglia, UK, has been replaced by Agnes Kalibata as the State Minister for Agriculture. Kalibata has been the Secretary General of the same ministry.
Mujawamariya, who was until Friday’s shakeup the Education minister, was transferred to the Gender and Family Promotion Ministry to replace Valerie Nyirahabineza, who is among the seven fired cabinet ministers.
Mujawamariya’s last days at the helm of the Kacyiru-based ministry were marked by allegations of incompetence and irresponsibility, particularly after a parliamentary probe committee last year unearthed chilling details of the existence of genocide ideology in many schools, and the poor performance of pupils and students in last year’s national examinations.
“I cannot talk much about the new appointment because it is from the appointing authority and I am happy about it,” that is all she could say, when asked about her reaction on reshuffle.
She holds a PhD in Physical Chemistry which she received in 2001 from the India Indian Institute of Technology (IIT-Roorkee).
Mujawamariya, who also obtained her Bachelors in Chemistry (1995) and a Masters in Physical-Chemistry in 1997 from Russian Peoples’ Friendship University, has been Education minister since March 2006. Born in 1970, Mujawamariya is married, with three children.
Before then, she had served for two years as the state minister for Higher Education, a position she held after she had served for over a year as the state minister for Primary and Secondary Education.
Meanwhile, the new Minister of Foreign Affairs, Rosemary Museminari, has welcomed her promotion saying that, though it comes with “challenges”, she was ready not to let down the appointing authority.
Museminari has since 2005 been the State Minister for Cooperation working under Dr Charles Murigande (her predecessor), who has now become the country’s first ever minister for Cabinet Affairs.
“I would only tell you that it is a challenge but I am ready to go for it. It is a privilege to serve my country in this capacity,” Museminari, who between 2000 and 2005 was Rwanda’s Ambassador to the UK, Scandinavian countries and the Republic of Ireland, said yesterday.
Born in 1962, Museminari studied and obtained a degree in social works and administration at Makerere University, Uganda in 1986.
She is married with five children.