The Rwandan Senate in a plenary sitting on Thursday approved 10 newly appointed Ambassadors who are among the 15 recently appointed by President Paul Kagame to represent Rwanda in different countries in a major diplomatic shakeup.
The Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and Security presented a report on the 10, who include Wellars Gasamagera, who will represent Rwanda in Angola, Emmanuel Hategeka who was appointed Rwanda’s envoy to United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Maj. Gen Charles Karamba, the newly appointed High Commissioner to Tanzania.
Also cleared is High Commissioner designate Jean de Dieu Uwihanganye, who will represent Rwanda in Singapore, François Nkurikiyimfura, who is Rwanda’s envoy to the new embassy in Qatar, Yasmin Amri Sued, who will represent Rwanda in South Korea and Dr Aissa Kirabo Kacyira who heads to Ghana as High Commissioner-designate.
The Senate also approved James Kimonyo as Ambassador-designate to China, Prosper Higiro as High Commissioner to Canada while outgoing City of Kigali Mayor Marie Chantal Rwakazina was approved to be the Ambassador to the Swiss Confederation.
As provided by article 86 of the Constitution of the Republic of Rwanda of 2003 revised in 2015 titled “Powers of the Senate to approve the appointment of officials”, The Senate has the powers to approve the appointment of some senior Government officials, including Ambassadors and High Commissioners.
Though it is mostly a formality, the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and Security is charged with the task of vetting newly appointed envoys to ascertain their qualifications, competencies and credibility.
In recent years, there is no record of an ambassador-designate who has been turned back having been appointed by the President of the Republic.
The Head of the Committee Senator Michel Rugema told the sitting that due process was done on the 10 files and they found that the appointed envoys met the requirements to represent Rwanda in their respective countries of appointment.
In an interview with KT Press, Sen. Rugema explained that the process involves reviewing the resumes of the appointees and sitting with them to understand their capabilities, adding that most cases the appointees have a known track record of service, which is why they pass the vetting process.
“It is a transparent process. We sit with them and chat about their qualifications and track record. Other institutions also do their part in the vetting process but in essence, the process is aimed at confirming if these appointed individuals have the competencies to represent the country,” Rugema said.
Rugema explained that the remaining five of the 15 appointees were not vetted because they were simply transferred to other countries but they had already been confirmed as Ambassadors.
They include Eugene Segore Kayihura who was moved from Tanzania to South Africa as High Commissioner, replacing Vincent Karega, who was transferred to Kinshasa.
Dr Francois Xavier Ngarambe was transferred from Geneva to Paris while Sheikh Saleh Habimana was moved from Egypt to the new embassy in Morocco. Similarly, Alfred Kalisa was moved from Luanda to Cairo where he replaced Sheikh Habimana.