Seasoned parliamentarian Juvénal Nkusi (PSD) yesterday returned to the helm of the all-important Public Accounts Committee (PAC) as members of the third Chamber of Deputies elected chairpersons and vice chairpersons of the chamber’s nine standing committees.
Nkusi, who defeated Annonciathe Mukarugwiza (Women), will be deputised by newcomer Theoneste Karenzi (RPF), who beat Cecile Murumunawabo (RPF), another new face.
Nkusi, once a speaker in the immediate aftermath of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, promised to carry on with what the committee was doing under the second Chamber of Deputies.
“I will continue with my determination to enhance efficiency, transparency and accountability in State Expenditure,” Nkusi, who has led PAC since it was set up in 2011, said.
Over the last two years the committee has built a reputation for fiercely quizzing government officials over alleged mismanagement or misallocation of state resources, as a follow up on Auditor General’s annual reports.
Veteran lawmaker Constance Mukayuhi Rwaka (RPF) returned as the head of the standing committee on National Budget and Patrimony, after beating off challenge from Emmanuelie Mukanyabyenda (Women), a newcomer.
Adolphe Bazatoha (PSD) was elected the vice chairperson, a position previously occupied by Abbas Mukama (PDI), who is now the deputy speaker in charge of finance and administration. Bazatoha stood unopposed.
Campaigning before her colleagues earlier, Mukayuhi promised to dedicate her efforts towards the successful implementation of the country’s second Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS II), a mid-term growth blueprint that runs from 2013 through 2018.
Long-serving MP Connie Bwiza (RPF) was elected to the helm of the standing committee on Economy and Trade, a position previously held by another incumbent, Juliana Kantengwa (RPF), who did not contest for the seat.
Bwiza beat former Mufti Saleh Habimana (RPF) to the post.
She will be deputised by Clotilde Mukakarangwa (PDC), who landed the seat at the expense of fellow newcomer Annoncee Manirarora (Women, Western Province).
Bwiza, who has previously served on the same committee, said she looked forward to making the most of her 14-year experience as a lawmaker as the committee head, thus adding value to parliament’s business.
The leadership of the standing committee on Social Affairs was also conquered by two women, namely Marie Rose Mureshyankwano (chairperson; RPF) and Alphonsine Mukarugema (deputy chair; RPF), after former heads Esperance Mwiza and MP Ignacienne Nyirarukundo chose not to seek re-election.
Mureshyankwano defeated Amiel Ngabo (Ngabo), while Mukarugema stood unopposed.
The standing committee on Agriculture, Livestock and Environment went to Gabriel Semasaka (Chair, RPF) and MP Suzanne Mukayijore (deputy, Women).
Semasaka defeated Marie Therese Murekatete (Women) while Mukayijore beat Agnes Nyirabagenzi (Women).
MPs Alfred Kayiranga Rwasa (RPF) and Yvonne Uwayisenga (Women) bounced back as the chairperson and vice chairperson for the standing committee on Political Affairs and Gender, respectively.
Rwasa trounced Euthalie Nyirabega (Women) while Uwayisenga, once a deputy speaker, defeated Petronille Mukandekezi.
Incumbent lawmaker Agnès Mukazibera (RPF) and MP Veneranda Nyirahirwa (PSD) beat off competition newcomers Philbert Uwilingiyimana (Youth) and Marie Claire Uwamama (Women) to become chairperson and deputy chair for the standing committee on Education, Technology, Culture and Youth.
Former Rwandan ambassador to Tanzania Zeno Mutimura (RPF) is now the chairperson of the standing committee on Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and Security, a post previously held by Gédéon Kayinamura who did not stand again in the September parliamentary poll.
Mutimura defeated Athanasie Nyiragwaneza (Women), one of the new faces in a House of 80 members.
He will be deputised by Julienne Uwacu (RPF), who easily beat off challenge from newcomer John Rwabyoma (RPF).
The standing committee on Unity, Human Rights and the Fight against Genocide Ideology went to François Byabarumwanzi (PL) and Innocent Kayitare (RPF).
Byabarumwanzi defeated newcomer Ephigenie Mukandera (Women), while
Kayitare stood unopposed.
Each standing committee has either eight or nine members.
Meanwhile, the plenary session also elected leaders of the special committee in charge of Assessment of the Chamber of Deputies activities, members’ conduct and Legislative Immunity.
Samuel Musabyimana (RPF) and Ignatienne Nyirarukundo (Women) were elected as the committee’s chairperson and vice chairperson, respectively.Follow https://twitter.com/KarhangaJames