KIGALI — Two Rwandan provincial governors were suspended by President Paul Kagame following a campaign aimed at weeding out public servants who are judged to lack accountability.
The two, Emmanuel Gasana of Northern Province and Gatabazi Jean Marie Vianney of Southern Province, will remain out of office until investigations into their performances are completed. An executive secretary to Gasana, Paul Jabo, was also suspended.
“The President has suspended from duty Mr Gasana Emmanuel, Governor of Southern Province and Mr Gatabazi Jean Marie Vianney, Governor of Northern Province owing to matters of accountability under investigation,” a statement from the Prime Minister Édouard Ngirente said.
The Northern Province has faced serious hurdles since Gasana, a former Inspector General of Police, took over in October 2018. The province has borne the weight of rising poverty levels, incomplete projects and insecurity.
Kagame had previously pledged to hold local leaders to account if they failed to deliver on their mandate while he toured the province earlier in the year.
Gatabazi, who has been in office since 2017, took to social media following his suspension and apologised to Kagame and thanked him for him appointing him to the position.
“I apologise for any disappointment to you, Excellency Paul Kagame, RPF and the people of Rwanda, and I look forward to the next chapter of my life continuing to serve my country to my best ability and always loyal to the You Excellency President and RPF,” he tweeted.
The Rwanda Investigative Bureau refused to divulge details of the issues under investigation, according to The East African.
Legislators have endorsed Kagame’s actions to hold senior leaders accountable and have called for thorough investigations into those suspended and their findings made public.
“Now the investigators have a duty to investigate these cases and make the findings public. We know cases involving officials who were said to be under investigation but no details were ever provided. This has to change,” Frank Habineza, an MP and Member of the Green Party, told The East African.
Five ministers have already been sacked this year with Kagame vowing to dismiss more for “lying, carelessness and indiscipline.”