Parliament expunges solitary confinement
The Chamber of Deputies, this week, finally passed a bill that eliminates solitary confinement as a punitive measure. This follows a series of debates between both chambers of parliament that lasted almost a year.
MP Evariste Kalisa was quoted saying that they had initially passed the bill that included the isolation clause, but when it reached the Senate, it was reversed basing on a number of issues.
Subsequently, a joint committee with members from both Houses was established to come up with a clear position, which, according to Kalisa, agreed to do away with the clause.
After tabling the proposals from the joint committee, MPs unanimously passed the bill.
Gov’t officials threaten to sue Kenya Airways
Three top government officials were reported this week to have threatened to file a lawsuit against the leading regional airline, Kenya Airways (KQ), over what they termed as mistreatment, humiliation, harassment, disrespect and abuse of clients travelling with the airliner.
Justice Minister Tharcisse Karugarama, the deputy Speaker of Parliament Denis Polisi and Senator Specioza Ayinkamiye, made the threats this week at Kigali International Airport after their ‘long frustrating’ flight from Nairobi to Kigali.
PAC Concludes Three-Day Meet
The Presidential Advisory Council (PAC), this week concluded a 3-day meeting in Kigali where they have been assessing and discussing the country’s education sector and development of skills and the financial sector.
The group which consists of eminent Rwandan and International experts, who offer strategic advice and guidance to President Paul Kagame on Rwanda’s development, visited several projects in the country and held discussions with the President and members of his cabinet.
Speaking to members of the press PAC member, Sir David King, said that the group which meets twice a year had an extraordinary successful meeting where various issues were discussed and resolved.
FDLR Attacks on Civilians Declining - DRC Army
Attacks by the FDLR on the population of the Eastern Democratic Republic Congo have drastically reduced in the past months, Congolese army spokesman; Capt. Olivier Hamuli told the press this week.
Speaking to The New Times from Bukavu, this week Capt. Hamuli stressed that the pressure currently being amounted on the rebel movement has led to the reduction of attacks on the civilian population in remote areas of the country.
Gen. James Kabarebe of Rwanda, DRC army Chief, Lt. Gen. Didier Etumba and Burundi’s Maj. Gen. Godefroid Niyombari, made the commitment during a meeting in the western Congolese port city of Matadi.
They also recommended setting up a joint monitoring mechanism and the sharing of intelligence information as well as the need for regular meetings between FARDC and RDF to harmonize plans.
WB Approves U.S.$115.6 Miliion for Rwanda
The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors has approved a US$115.6m from the International Development Association to assist Rwanda implement its Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS), it was reported this week.
The amount includes US$29.5m under the Crisis Response Window (CRW) of which US$14.3 is a loan to the government while US$15.2m is a grant.
The whole grant is part of the Bank’s budgetary support to Rwanda. The areas to be supported by the grant include; increasing the participation of the private sector in the development of the agricultural sector as well as enhancing rural road access by improving the condition of the district road network.
Another area is strengthening the framework of private sector’s participation in energy and water and sanitation sectors, and support reforms to raise agricultural production.
According to a statement from the Bank, the grant will also support growth of exports and creating jobs through enhancing the skills of the population.