President Paul Kagame yesterday appointed former Minister for East African Community affairs Jacqueline Muhongayire as senator, barely a week after she was dropped from the Cabinet.
At EAC ministry, Muhongayire was replaced by former Rwanda Development Board Chief Executive Officer Valentine Rugwabiza
“Special thanks to the President for the trust he has in me, I will work tirelessly and serve Rwandans to the best of my ability,” Muhongayire told The New Times last evening.
She replaces Penelope Kantarama who resigned from the 26-member Upper Chamber of Parliament in July last year.
Kantarama, who was also a presidential appointee, was the first lawmaker to resign from the second Senate.
The Senate members serve an eight year, non-renewable term.
At least 30 per cent of the members must be women, as per the constitution.
Currently, women constitute more than 40 per cent of the seats in the upper House.
The constitution stipulates that 12 Senators shall be elected by electoral colleges in accordance with the administrative entities; eight appointed by the President, and four designated by the Consultative Forum of Political Organisations.
Public and private tertiary institutions also elect one member each.
Muhongayire served as EAC Minister for a period of one year from July 2013. Prior to that, she had served as a member of the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) for five years.
Before heading to EALA, Muhongayore had served as a lawmaker for 12 years. She was one of the 12 women in the 70-member Transitional National Assembly.
Married with three children, Muhongayire holds a Master’s degree in project management.