Mukantaganzwa Bounces Back in a Wave of Judicial Appointments

The new Chairperson of the Rwanda Law Reform Commission (RLRC) Domitilla Mukantanzwa

Domitilla Mukantaganzwa, the Former Executive Secretary for National Gacaca Jurisdiction, has bounced back into leadership circles after several years of being off the scene.

Mukantaganzwa was named the new Chairperson of the Rwanda Law Reform Commission (RLRC), replacing Aimable Havugiyaremye who was recently named the new Prosecutor General in a wave of judicial changes that started last week.

In an announcement released on December 4, the Prime Minister Dr Edouard Ngirente said that President Paul Kagame appointed Mukantaganzwa to head the commission charged with drafting and revising laws, with instructions to start work with immediate effect.

“We are delighted by the new assignment. I want to thank the President of Republic for showing trust in me. I am ready to serve and meet the expectations of the appointing authority,” Mukantaganzwa told KT Press in an interview.

Mukantanganzwa’s appointment follows a wave of fresh appointments in the judiciary including that of Dr Faustin Nteziryayo who was named the new Chief Justice yesterday replacing Professor Sam Rugege who is retiring.

The change of guard in the Judiciary also saw Marie Therese Mukamulisa appointed the Deputy Chief Justice replacing Kayitesi Sylvie Zainabu while Angelique Habyarimana was named the Deputy Prosecutor.

Similarly Jean-Bosco Mutangana was dropped as the Prosecutor General alongside his deputy Agnes Mukagashugi in the sweeping reforms in the judicial sector.

Mukantaganzwa is renowned for her role and contribution to the success of Gacaca courts which officially closed in 2012 after trying more than 1.2 million cases related to the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

The traditional grassroots courts faced criticism from rights watchdog at the time of their establishment, Mukantaganzwa was steadfast in defending the courts and their success was largely attributed to her.

Following the closure of the courts, Mukantaganzwa was not heard of in leadership circles apart from being among the commissioners at the National Commission for the Fight against the Genocide (CNLG).

Who is Mukantaganzwa?

Mukantaganzwa was born on November 11, 1964 in Kimihurura and had her primary education at Ecole Primaire Kacyiru in 1971 before joining Notre Dame de Lourdes de Byimana in the current Ruhango district for her O’Level education.

She then joined Lycee Notre Dame De Citeaux for A’Level, pursuing Economics, until 1983 when she joined the National University of Rwanda (NUR), now University of Rwanda (UR), where she pursued a bachelor’s degree in Law.

Mukantaganzwa joined national service in 1987 as the Assistant Burgomastre of Nyarugenge Commune before joining the Ministry of Agriculture as a registration officer. After the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, she was appointed a Director General in the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labour briefly before joining UNICEF during the emergency period.

She then started a legal firm until 1999 when she was appointed to the Legal and Constitutional Commission which drafted the 2003 Constitution. In October 2003, she was appointed to head the National Gacaca Jurisdiction Commission until 2012 when she completed the task and submitted a report to the government.

She holds a Master’s degree in Peace Studies and International Relations from the Institute of Peace Studies and International Relations (HIPSIR) of Hekima University College, Kenya and she is currently pursuing a diploma in legal practice at the Institute of Legal Practice and Development (ILPD).

She is married to former State Minister of Education and one time Mayor of Kigali City Theoneste Mutsindashyaka.




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