Kagame Removes Ministers; Retains Kabarebe, Mushikiwabo in Cabinet Shakeup

Kagame at swearing-in ceremony of the new premier (R)

A new Cabinet has been named in Rwanda with Defence Minister Gen James Kabarebe and his Foreign Affairs counterpart Louise Mushikiwabo retaining their positions.

The two dockets are considered the most influential hence the retention of tested cadres.

The recent months saw the exit of top military generals including Karenzi Karake and Jack Nziza among others.

While the military leadership has undergone major reshuffles Kagame appears keen on maintaining Kabarebe, a loyal and experienced battle-hardened military officer at the helm of the army.

The new cabinet was appointed on Wednesday night by President Kagame in consultation with the new Prime Minister, Dr Edouard Ngirente.

Ngirente, who has been working with the World Bank, took oath before President Kagame at the Parliament yesterday.

The Ministry of Trade saw changes with Minister Francois Kanimba being replaced by Vincent Munyeshyaka.

Interestingly, the long serving Cabinet Affairs Minister Stella Ford Mugabo has been shown the exit with Marie-Solange Kayisire taking charge of the powerful position.

The Minister for Disaster Management and Refugee Affairs Seraphine Mukantabana has been removed from her position and appointed Chairperson of the National Commission for the Reintegration of ex-combatants.

Notably, the Ministry of ICT and Youth has been split.

This appears a move to pay more attention to youth affairs as they form majority of the population in Rwanda.

To consolidate his hold onto power, Kagame needs full support of the youth whose lives he recently said he was determined to transform.

Jean-Philibert Nsengimana retained the ICT docket while Rosemary Mbabazi, the former Permanent Secretary in the Trade Ministry and East African Affairs, is the new Minister for Youth.

The former premier Anastase Murekezi will serve as Chief Ombudsman, replacing Aloysia Cyanzayire.

The Ministry of Natural Resources has been split to create the Environment ministry to be headed by Vincent Biruta and that of Lands and Forestry which will be under Francine Tumushime.

Noticeably, Olivier Nduhungirehe who has been the Rwandan Ambassador to Belgium and representative to United Nations is the new Minister of State of Foreign Affairs.

James Musoni and Johnston Businge retained their positions as Infrastructure and Justice Minister respectively.

Below is the full cabinet:IMG_3995



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