Up to 20 new senators took oath at a ceremony presided over by President Paul Kagame at the Parliament.
By John Mugisha
Rwanda’s new Senators were sworn in on Thursday for a five year-term following their election in September.
The new lawmakers join another six whose term of office will end in 2020.
At the same occasion, senators elected Augustin Iyamuremye as President of the new Senate shortly after taking oath.
Iyamuremye will be assisted by two vice presidents including Esperance Nyirasafari — vice president in charge of legislation and government oversight — and Alivera Mukabaramba — vice president in charge of economic affairs.
President Kagame challenged lawmakers to remain close to citizens in order to understand their challenges and work toward improving their welfare.
“National service especially in leadership position comes with pride and it’s an opportunity to the office holder. I believe it’s an opportunity, but it is an opportunity which should be used properly because it comes with responsibility beyond the technical work,” Kagame told the new lawmakers.
“It is a responsibility to deliver to Rwandans what they expect of you including taking decisions of national interest, and emphasizing our national unity,” he added.
The outgoing senate was elected in 2011 and it completed its mandate last week after serving for eight years.
The senators previously served an eight-year non-renewable term.
But a constitutional amendment in 2015 slashed the period to five-year term, renewable once.
The old Senate completed its constitutional mandate in office last week.