From the last three years, the term ‘Yellow Paper’ is becoming a common jargon in Rwanda which refers to a PDF document that mostly emanate from the cabinet and the office of the Prime Minister.
Since Covid-19 spread, the cabinet conducted regular meetings to update preventive measures and to decide on other matters of national interest, including appointments and/or suspensions.
The resolutions were always published on a scanned Yellow Paper.
Beyond COVID-19, the Yellow Paper continued to be used for the cabinet resolutions, but the government did not adopt a different “brand color” even when it was a separate communication.
A communique on new appointments and/or dismissal of senior civil servants is written and published on the now famous ‘Yellow Paper.’
From that background, colleagues can tell a workmate, upon appointment: “congratulations for appearing on Yellow Paper.”
Others who wish their colleague well may say: “You will be next to appear on Yellow Paper.”
In 2023, change in both local and central government brought in new officials to speed up country development. The change could sometimes affect some officials who would head to other positions or head to private sector. In some cases, owing to matters of accountability some officials were taken to court.
Some officials started the new year with new positions, others handed over because the appointing authority found that the new blood was needed.
The shortest serving Director General is appointed
As early as January 30,2023, the cabinet made the first appointments of the year, and the list included former Deputy Secretary General in charge of Productive and Social Sectors at East African Community(EAC) Christophe Bazivamo.
Bazivamo who also served as Minister back home was appointed High Commissioner to the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
On the same list, once Minister of Gender and Family Promotion in Rwanda and member of the 4th Assembly 2017- 2022 of the East African Community(EALA), Madame Oda Gasinzigwa was appointed Chairperson of the National Electoral Commission(NEC).
Gasinzigwa replaced late professor Kalisa Mbanda who died early January 2023.
At Rwanda Agriculture and Animal Resource Development Board(RAB), Dr Alexandre Rutikanga who served at several Institutions of higher education including the Colleges of Agriculture and Veterinary Science of University of Rwanda was appointed Director General.
Rutikanga replaced Dr. Patrick Karangwa who was appointed on January 23,2018.
Meanwhile, Karangwa was appointed Director General of Agriculture Modernisation at Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resource Development(Minagri).
In the same ministry, Dr. Olivier Kamana was appointed Permenant Secretary right from the National Industrial Research and Development Agency (NIRDA).
Also coming back in civil service was Zephanie Niyonkuru who was appointed Permenant Secretary at Ministry of Sports.
Early October 2022, Niyonkuru was suspended from his position of Deputy CEO of Rwanda Development Board(RDB) over “repeated managerial failures”, according to an announcement that was made by Prime Minister Edouard Ngirente on behalf of President Paul Kagame, the appointing authority.
At Rwanda Forestly Authority, Dr. Concorde Nsengumuremyi, who had been serving as Deputy Principal in charge of Academics and training at IPRC Kitabi was appointed Director General replacing Spiridio Nsengimana who had been in acting position since October 2021.
Early March however, the appointing authority made more changes in Ministry of Agriculture. Dr. Ildephonse Musafiri was appointed as new Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resource Development(Minagri), replacing Geraldine Mukeshimana who had been at the realm of the ministry since 2014.
Before the new appointment announced March 2, 2023, Musafiri was serving as Minister of State at the same ministry since August 2022. Earlier on, he served as head of strategy and government policy committee in the Office of the President.
Also new change affected the Rwanda Agriculture and Animal Resource Development Board(RAB).
Dr Telesphore Ndabamenye was appointed Director General of RAB replacing Dr. Alexandre Rutikanga who was appointed in January and approved by Senate in February on this post.
Ndabamenye is a seasoned civil servant who worked as a senior official at RAB for years before heading to One Acre Fund.
In August, the appointing authority also sent Maurice Mugabowagahunde to serve as governor for the Northern Province. from Ministry of Civic Engagement and National Unity-Minubumwe, Mugabowagahunde replaced Dancille Nyirarugero who served since March 2021.
The latter was thus appointed at Rwanda Demobilisation and Reintegration Commission as commissioner.
Ange Kagame on Yellow Paper
Other key appointments in August 2 included former Secretary General of the Rwanda Patriotic Front(RPF) Inkotanyi-Francois Ngarambe. He was appointed the Chairman Chancellery for Heroes, National Orders and Decorations of Honor (CHENO) which falls under the Ministry of National Unity and Civic Engagement (MINUBUMWE).
The cabinet also appointed Ange Kagame as Deputy Executive Director, Strategy and Policy Council (SPC) in the President’s Office.
The First Daughter first joined the SPC, whose role is to advise the Head of State on key economic policies and strategies, in 2015, as a policy analyst, until 2017 when she went to pursue her Masters in International Affairs at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, which she completed in May 2019.
The same year in September, she was appointed a Senior Policy Analyst at SPC, where she served until the latest appointment.
Meanwhile, former Inspector General of Police (IGP), CG Dan Munyuza was appointed Ambassador to Egypt while Maj Gen Charles Karamba, who until April this year was Rwanda’s Ambassador to Tanzania, headed to Addis Ababa as the new envoy and Permanent Representative to the African Union.
In Cairo, CG Munyuza replaced Alfred Gakuba Kalisa, who served as Ambassador to Egypt since 2019. Gen. Karamba replaced Amb. Hope Tumukunde Gasatura, who completed her tour of duty in June this year, after more than seven years.
Michel Sebera, who was Rwanda’s Minister Counsellor in The Netherlands was nominated Rwanda’s Ambassador to the Republic of Guinea.
Meanwhile, Shakila Kazimbaya Umutoni, former Director General of Africa at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation since May 2020, was appointed Rwanda’s Ambassador designate to the Kingdom of Morocco.
In this month, Lambert Dushimimana was taken from Rwanda Parliament where he was senator and appointed governor of Western Province to fill the gap that was left by Francois Habitegeko. The latter was relieved from his duty late August 2023.
Tessi Rusagara took over from Gilbert Nyatanyi as CEO of Agaciro Development Fund. Moreover, Armand Zingiro took over as CEO Rwanda Enegry Group,
The 16th Minister of Education
In the August 22 changes announced by Prime Minister, Dr. Edouard Ngirente, Dr. Valentine Uwamariya, who was the Minister of Education since February 2020, was redeployed to the Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion, while Gaspard Twagirayezu, who was the State Minister in charge of Primary and Secondary Education, becomes the full minister of the education docket.
Twagirayezu became the 16th Minister of Education- The ministry knew most changes compared to the rest.
In the same Ministry, Claudette Irere, who was the State Minister in charge of ICT and TVET, was appointed the Minister of State for Education, in a move that widened her mandate.
Dr. Uwamariya replaced Prof. Jeannette Bayisenge at the Ministry, commonly known as MIGEPROF. Bayisenga was moved to the Ministry of Public Service and Labour, replacing Fanfan Rwanyindo.
The reshuffle also saw Maj. Gen Albert Murasira, who until June this year was the Minister of Defence, this time bouncing back as the Minister of Emergency Management, replacing Solange Kayisire, who was appointed the new Minister of State for Local Government. At MINALOC, Kayisire replaced Assumpta Ingabire.
Ingabire was moved to the National Child Development Agency (NCDA) as the new Director General, replacing Nadine Gatsinzi Umutoni, who was appointed the Chief Gender Monitor at the Gender Monitoring Office, replacing Rose Rwabuhihi.
In other major changes, Eric Rwigamba was appointed as Minister of State for Agriculture and Animal Resources. Rwigamba was the Minister of Public Investments and Privatisation, whose mandate was transferred to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning (MINECOFIN).
Jeanine Munyeshuli was appointed in a new docket as Minister of State for Public Investment and Resource Mobilization at MINECOFIN.
In other developments, Sandrine Umutoni, who was the Director General of Imbuto Foundation, was appointed the Minister of State for Youth while Claudine Uwera was assigned a new role of the Minister of State for Environment.
Maj. Gen (Rtd) Charles Rudakubana was appointed as the Ambassador to Angola, while Margaret Nyagahura was nominated Rwanda’s Ambassador to Hungary.
General Kabarebe back to cabinet
In September, General James Kabarebe who was retired from the army a year before, was appointed to a position in the cabinet.
President Kagame appointed him the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs in charge of Regional Cooperation, replacing Prof. Nshuti Manasseh who was assigned a new role as the Senior Advisor in the Office of the President in charge of Special Assignments.
Kabarebe was last in Cabinet in October 2018 when he was replaced as the Minister of Defence. Until his latest appointment he has been serving as the Special Advisor to the President on Security.
In the same appointments Francis Gatare was appointed the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Rwanda Development Board (RDB), replacing long-serving Clare Akamanzi.
Gatare previously served as the CEO of the institution from 2014 to 2017 and as the CEO of Rwanda Mining Board (RMB) from 2017 to 2021 and then lately, serving as the Senior Economic Advisor in the Office of the President.
Meanwhile, Dr. Yvonne Umulisa was appointed the Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister. Prior to that, he served as the Permanent Secretary in the recently phased out Ministry of Public Investments and Privatization.
The changes saw Alphonse Rukaburandekwe appointed the Director General of Rwanda Housing Authority (RHA) while Bonny Musefano was sent to Rwanda’s Embassy in Tokyo as the First Counsellor.
A Big Day for the Judiciary
In October, it was mainly the turn of the judiciary.
Two judges were appointed at Supreme Court and those include Isabelle Kalihangabo, who was Deputy Secretary General of Rwanda Investigation Bureau(RIB).
Previously, Kalihangabo also served as Permenant Secretary at Ministry of Justice before the appointment to RIB.
At RIB, Kalihangabo was replaced by Consolee Kamarampaka, formely serving at this institution as Provincial Chief Investigator(PCI) for the Sourthern Province.
Also appointed as judge at Supreme Court was Jean Bosco Kazungu, a seasoned lawyer and once president of Rwanda Bar Association.
Two judges were appointed at the court of appeal and those include Angeline Rutazana and Xavier Ndahayo, while Jean Pierre Habarurema was appointed President of High Court.
Bernadette Kanzayire’s term as vice president of High Court was also renewed.
Still related to judiciary, Aimee Muyoboke Kalimunda was appointed Rector of the Nyanza based Institute of Legal Practice and Development(ILPD).
Meanwhile, the cabinet proposed Ernest Rwamucyo as permanent representative of Rwanda at the UN, replacing Amb. Clever Gatete who was appointed Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) early this month.
Rwamucyo has been serving as Rwanda’s envoy to Japan, and proposed to replace him is Marie Claire Mukasine who is fresh from National Human Right Commission as chairperson, also former Member of Parliament Lower chamber.
The turn of Journalists
The promotion of one man is a benefit for another. December 14 turned a day of joy for Barore Cleophas who climbed to the top leadership of Rwanda Broadcasting Agency(RBA).
On that day, Barore, a seasoned journalist was appointed CEO of the agency replacing Arthur Assiimwe who as appointed Deputy Chief of Mission in the USA Embassy.
Assimwe is replacing Lawrance Manzi who was proposed Ambassador to the new Rwanda’s Embassy in Brazil.
Third journalist to appear on Yellow Paper, is Solange Ayanone who was appointed Counsellor in City of Kigali.
In the Kigali City Hall, also Dusengiyumva Sammuel who hails from Ministry of Local Government where he was serving as Permanent Secretary, was appointed Counsellor, and later elected mayor of Kigali City.
He replaced Pudence Rubingisa who was appointed governor to the Eastern Province.
Rubingisa is filling the vacant post that was left by CG(Rtd) Emmanuel Gasana who is answering in court a case of corruption.
Meanwhile, Valens Uwineza was appointed the Director of Cabinet, taking over from Urujeni Bakuramutsa, who was proposed as the Ambassador of Rwanda to the new Rwanda embassy in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. Uwineza will be deputised by Juliana Kangeli Muganza.
In the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Col. (Rtd) Donat Ndamage was appointed Rwanda’s High Commissioner-designated to Mozambique, where he replaces Claude Nikobisanzwe.