Where are they?

Rwanda Today brings you more officials who once held high positions in government but were dropped or left for other engagements elsewhere and have since stepped out of the limelight.

Henry Gaperi Kanyesiime
In March 2010, Henry Gaperi Kanyesiime resigned as the director general of the Social Security Fund of Rwanda, now Rwanda Social Security Board (RSSB).
Mr Gaperi’s resignation was riddled with controversy with media reports indicating that the man credited with transforming the social security fund had fallen out with top government officials.
It was also revealed that Mr Gaperi had secured a lucrative appointment with the International Monetary Fund without consulting his seniors in the Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF), have to endorse any such appointment.
In fact, at an RPF meeting later, President Paul Kagame, who is also the chairman of the party, alluded to indisciplined senior officials.
He mentioned Gaperi and Domittille Mukantaganzwa, who then headed Gacaca Courts (but like Gaperi, she had gone on personal sojourns without consulting the party leaders). They were relieved of their positions as commissioners in the party.
Thereafter, reports indicated that Mr Gaperi was questioned at the Kimihurura-based RPF secretariat and Remera Police.
When the storm settled, Gaperi took his new appointment at the IMF as the adviser on policy and revenue administration in Eastern Africa, with an office in Dar es Salaam. The once media loving official decided to stay out of the limelight.
Last week, the Togolese government announced Mr Gaperi had been appointed the Commissioner-General of the Togolese Revenue Office.
Theoneste Mutsindashyaka
Until 2009, Mr Mutsindashyaka was the all-powerful Minister of State for Primary and Secondary Education, a position he took after stints as governor of the Eastern Province and mayor of the City of Kigali.
In all these positions, Mr Mutsindashyaka who was also a strong RPF cadre at the time, introduced tough policies that made him a household name.
Around July 2009, the Prosecutor General (Martin Ngoga) announced that Mr Mutsindashyaka was under probe in a corruption related incident that would have resulted in the government losing Rwf1.7 billion.
He was sentenced to five years in jail by the Kacyiru Primary Court but was acquitted in July 2010.
Following his release, Mutsindashyaka quit politics for business but his hotel — Michael’s Den — was auctioned to recover a loan.
However in April 2012, Mr Mutsindashyaka was appointed the Executive Secretary for the Regional Centre on Small Arms in the Great Lakes Region, the Horn of Africa and Bordering States (RECSA) after he was recommended by Kigali.
To date, the once vocal politician has settled in his Nairobi-based office, putting his many years of trouble behind him.
Dr Joseph Sebarenzi
He was the Speaker of Parliament between 1997 and 2000, when he fled the country, fearing for his life. In 2009, Dr Sebarenzi released his memoir, God Sleeps in Rwanda.
He became a vocal critic of the government before retreating to academia. He has since received a doctorate in International Human Rights Law from the National University of Ireland besides a master’s degree in International and Intercultural Management from SIT Graduate Institute in the US, where he teaches at the Conflict Transformation Across Cultures (CONTACT) programme.
Dr Patrick Habamenshi
Dr Habamenshi was the minister of agriculture until 2009, when he was relieved of his duties and fled the country to Canada where he had come from.
The flamboyant veterinarian released a book in 2009 titled Rwanda: Where Souls Turn into Dust, detailing the troubles he went through from the time he returned to Rwanda in 2000. After the release of his book, he immersed himself in academia.
Rosette Rugamba
Rosette Rugamba was the deputy chief executive of Rwanda Development Board in charge of Tourism and Conservation until March 2010, when she resigned.
No reasons were given for her resignation but media reports indicated that Rugamba, who for seven years was credited with turning around Rwanda’s tourism, had problems fitting in the new format at RDB.
The National Office for Tourism and National Parks, which Rugamba headed, was among the institutions merged to create RDB.
Her resignation shocked many, particularly players in the tourism industry. Once she was off the radar, she created her private company Songa Africa, which is involved in tour operations.
In May 2012, Mrs Rugamba graduated as a Fellow of the prestigious Aspen Leadership Initiative. Today she remains one of the major private players in the tourism industry.
Joseph Mutaboba
In February 2009, the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon appointed Mr Mutaboba his Special Representative for Guinea-Bissau. At the time, the seasoned diplomat had been President Kagame’s Special Envoy in the Great Lakes Region.
In December 2012, Mutaboba left Bissau with several reports indicating that the government had asked him to leave because he was involved in “rogue activities” but the UN clarified that his mandate had ended.
Six months later, in June 2013, Mr Ban and the chairperson of the African Union Commission, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, appointed Mr Mutaboba the AU and UN Deputy Joint Special Representative and Deputy Head of the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur, a position he holds to date.
Christine N. Umutoni
In 2002, Ms Umutoni was made Rwanda’s envoy in Kampala. At the time, he two countries were experiencing volatile diplomatic and military relations. With valour, she took on the job, trying to mend relations between the two former allies whose egos had clashed inside DR Congo.
In May 2004, she was recalled and put on the “bench.” Around 2009, she was appointed the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Country Director for Zimbabwe.
In September 2012, she was transferred to Eritrea as the resident representative of UNDP and resident co-ordinator of One UN. She is still in Asmara.
Eugene Torero
Torero was the Deputy Commissioner General of Rwanda Revenue Authority until 2011. After he was dropped, Torero who is also a known RPF cadre, did not get any state appointment. He was reported to have ventured into Burundi, where he got lucrative consultancy deals.
In 2012, he was appointed the Country Director of Trademark East Africa, an organisation advocating the fast tracking of regional integration in the East African Community.