Kagame makes good on his threat, sacks minister

Saturday April 14 2018

Former Rwanda Cabinet minister James Musoni. PHOTO | NMG

Former Rwanda Cabinet minister James Musoni. PHOTO | NMG 

By The EastAfrican
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President Paul Kagame has in the past week sacked several government officials, including a long-serving minister James Musoni.

Mr Musoni, who has previously held key dockets, including Finance, Local Government and most recently Infrastructure, was sacked on April 6, after almost 24 years serving in key government positions, and his part handed over to his successor last week.

It was a fall from grace for the powerful minister, an effective mobiliser and Rwanda Patriotic Front loyalist who has successfully overseen implementation of key government projects, including the multi-million Kigali Convention Centre. 

His sacking came just a few weeks after President Kagame, at the 15th Leadership Retreat cautioned officials on accountability and poor performance which undermine implementation of government programmes. 

“I know them, some of them are here. Sometimes I have to pick the phone and call them and tell them that if you don’t stop this nonsense, I will fire you at the end of it all,”  President Kagame said.

Running after the minister

“They are here. If you want I can give you the names of these people. People who disembark an aeroplane at the airport in Kanombe and high ranking policemen and managers of the airline stop what they are doing to run after a minister who has just got off a plane,” added President Kagame.

“What culture is that? Where will it take us? A manager of an airline, rather than focussing on whether the operations of the airline are going well, you instead choose to run after a minister? It is not the duty of a manager of an airline to protocol the minister of infrastructure under whose ministry the airline falls,” President Kagame said.

Mr Musoni declined to speak to the press after the handover ceremony on Thursday.