KIMIHURURA - A total of 20 members of the new Senate, who were, recently, either elected or appointed, are scheduled to be sworn-in, today, at the Parliamentary Buildings in Kimihurura.
The Senate is composed of 26 members with an eight-year, non-renewable mandate. While those who assumed office on October 10, 2003 are exiting the Upper Chamber of Parliament, six members still have a year to go as they joined the House a year later.
The Parliamentary Director General for Communication and Outreach, Augustin Habimana, confirmed today’s swearing-in ceremony to The New Times last evening. The event will be presided over by President Paul Kagame.
Also expected to swear in are two cabinet ministers, Stanislas Kamanzi (Environment and Natural Resources) and Gen. Marcel Gatsinzi (Refugees and Disaster Preparedness) who were both absent when their colleagues took the oath of office, last Friday, as the new Prime Minister, Pierre Damien Habumuremyi, announced a new cabinet line-up. Three ministerial slots also remain vacant, and it’s not clear when they will be filled.
What are Senators’ entitlements?
According to the 2008 Presidential Order determining allowances and other fringe benefits to be allocated to State Top Political Leaders, an ordinary senator who does not head any standing committee earns a net salary of Rwf714, 837 per month.
In addition, an ordinary senator’s lump sum of benefits stands at Rwf588,000, which amounts to an overall take home amount totalling Rwf1,302,837.
Senators who head or act as deputies to chairpersons of senatorial standing committees are entitled to an extra Rwf 35,000.
The committee chairpersons are also entitled to a mobile telephone allowance of Rwf50, 000 per month. The state takes charge of the customs duties for a vehicle delivered in Kigali with an engine capacity of between 1, 500 cc and 2, 500 cc.
Each senator is granted Rwf6 million and receives a monthly installment of Rwf100, 000, up to a period not exceeding five years, for accommodation.
When there is change of responsibility and where the new appointment entitles them to a house allowance, they receive this minus the allowance obtained during their previous responsibilities.
In addition, the Presidential Order indicates that the president of the Senate shall be entitled to a gross salary of Rwf 3, 434,642 per month.
The Senate president is also entitled to a fully furnished residential house, residence and guest entertainment allowance of Rwf600,000 per month, and an office entertainment allowance of Rwf600,000, per month.
He or she is also entitled to a permanent official vehicle, with all its maintenance paid for by the state.
Other benefits for the senate president include; water and electricity bills fully paid for by the state, modern communication equipment at home and in the office including a fixed telephone line, a mobile phone, fax machine, wireless and local area internet connection, a satellite phone, a dish antenna, all paid for by state.
The government grants half of the cost of the vehicle while the remaining half is paid by the individual senators.