It is going to be a happy festive seasons for 966 convicts including women convicted for abortion that had no chance to join their families until their sentence is fully consumed.
President Paul Kagame announced during the December 9 Cabinet meeting that he granted pardon to 62 girls and women tried and convicted of abortion, which the court has given final judgment and children under 16 tried and convicted and their judgment became res judicata.
In the res judicata case, a convict has no room to appeal. The case is sealed off.
Another cabinet resolution approved the Ministerial Order granting release on parole to 814 convicts who meet the requirements provided for by Law No 30/2013 of 24/05/2013 relating to the code of criminal procedure.
Parole is the provisional release of a prisoner who agrees to certain conditions prior to the completion of the maximum sentence period.
Lawyers who spoke to KT Press said discipline while serving the sentence is one of the pre-requisite to get parole.
There are many chances that the convicts could be in their families before Christmas.
Cyprien Munyaburanga, a legal tracker at Office of the Prime Minister told KT Press that in normal practice, “a ministerial order does not take long to be published in national gazette since it does not require going through the parliament. Only a draft law goes through the parliament.”
He said once a presidential order is released, it goes into text editing and then is endorsed by the Head of State, the Prime Minister and the habilitated ministry-here Ministry of Justice.
The Ministerial order, he said is only endorsed by the ministry proposing it.
“Within two weeks, an order can be published in national gazette,” said Munyaburanga.
Looking at the decisions in general, the cabinet meeting yesterday touched a lot on life of individuals.
Among others, the cabinet approved a draft Law authorizing ratification of the convention on extradition and transfer of suspects and convicted offenders between the Republic of Rwanda and the Republic of the Congo, signed at Brazzaville, Congo on 09/11/2013.
This law is important because it involves Congo Brazzaville, a country that hosts many Rwandan refugees, including elements that committed the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi.
In October, President Paul Kagame was in official state visit in Congo Brazzaville and the country pledged cooperation in settling the refugee issue.
The cabinet also approved the proposal for the establishment of a Rehabilitation Center at Nyamagabe District.
However, the most shocking news from the cabinet resolution is, for civil servants and the working community in general, a huge increment on the health insurance.
The cabinet meeting approved the proposed revised Medical Tariff for Medical Insurance Scheme.
The la Rwandaise d’Assurance Maladie(RAMA) in public health facilities, applies increment of 25% on current tariff, while the Military Medical Insurance (MMI) and Private Health Insurances apply increment of 15% on current tariff.
For the Community-based Health Insurance Scheme, commonly Mutuelle de santé which, months ago was transferred at Rwanda Social Security Board (RSSB) no increment was suggested.
Currently, employees under RAMA insurance bear 15 per cent of health cost while the scheme pays the remaining 85%.
The arrangement will remain the same, officials at RSSB told KT Press, and only the cost of medication is going to increase.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, a source at RSSB said, “The increment was suggested by the Ministry of Health under influence of health facilities who complained about dollar fluctuation and the cost of health which remains constant.”
KT Press understands it was not out of the will of RSSB, which was not consulted anywhere.
The source said some health facilities had started refusing some medicines to RAMA clients, saying the scheme does not cover them, “which is a lie and is only tarnishing our image.”
Date for Presidential Elections Announced
Also announced during the cabinet meeting is the date for presidential elections.
Rwandans will be voting for a president that will serve the next constitutional 7 year term on August 3-4 next year.
The Minister of Local Government informed the Cabinet Meeting yesterday that “In a bid to ensure smooth Presidential elections in 2017, the National Electoral Commission has prepared a calendar for the planned preparatory activities.”
This communiqué that was featured in the “AOB” section of cabinet resolutions reads that Polling Day for those voting from outside Rwanda is 03/08/2017 while Polling Day for those voting inside Rwanda is 04/08/2017.
The cabinet made several appointments, the major one being a change in National Prosecution Authority.
Prosecutor General Richard Muhumuza was appointed Judge in Supreme Court.
Muhumuza who was appointed as Prosecutor General in September 2013 replacing Martin Ngonga is replaced on this position by Mutangana Bosco who has been a prosecutor for the last 16 years and once Spokesman for NPPA. Before this nomination that has to be confirmed by senate, Mutangana was National Prosecutor.
The cabinet meeting also approved a ministerial order granting power of attorney to five public officials, including, in Rwanda Development Board (RDB); NKUSI Fred, SUGIRA Théophile and RUDASINGWA Francis.
In the National Commission for Human Rights, the attorneys are Umubyeyi Christine and Umubyeyi Cécile.
According to Isabelle Kalihangabo, the Permanent Secretary at Ministry of Justice, the attorneys are lawyers working from the respective institutions. They represent their institutions in court.
Their institutions do not need to acquire attorneys based at Ministry of Justice when they have to appear in a litigation case.
Other institutions with their own attorneys include; Rwanda Revenue Authority, RSSB and Natural Resources Authority. The National Human Right Commission is new on this list.
“The decision to give an institution its own attorneys is informed by the uniqueness and occurrence of cases in that institution,” she said.
With Minijust attorneys, said Kalihangabo, the government has more than 20 attorneys.