What you should know about Pudence Rubingisa, who is leaving City of Kigali to Eastern Province
On December 14, 2023, the office of the Rwandan Prime Minister announced that President Paul Kagame had appointed Pudence Rubingisa as the new Governor of the Eastern Province after four years in office as the Mayor of Kigali City.
Pudence Rubingisa is going to lead the Eastern Province, replacing CG (Rtd) Emmanuel Gasana, who was removed from the office following his arrest. He is now detained at Nyarugenge Prison where he is being prosecuted for crimes related to the misuse of authority for personal profit.
Rubingisa is not new to Rwanda’s government bodies because he has been in charge of major institutions since 2013 when he was hired at the University of Rwanda where he was in charge of the administration and finance department.
Pudence was given these responsibilities after serving as the Deputy Director for Administration and Finance at ISAE-Busogo, a position he held for two years.
Rubingisa is an expert in finance and procurement, having studied it at the at university and taught at the School of Finance and Banking, formerly known as SFB.
Imprisonment of Pudence:
In August 2017, when Pudence Rubingisa was the Deputy Director of Finance and Administration at the University of Rwanda for 4 years, he was arrested and accused of commiting mistakes in bidding and procurement for the construction of a laboratory of the University of Rwanda in Nyagatare. He was acquitted and released.
Being Mayor of City of Kigali
On August 17, 2019, Rubingisa was elected as the Mayor of Kigali City, replacing Marie Chantal Rwakazina, who was appointed as the Ambassador of Rwanda to Switzerland.
During his 4 years in charge of Kigali, the city witnessed rapid development in infrastructure, including road construction and the building of major infrastructure such as BK Arena and Amahoro Stadium. Car-free zones like Biryogo and Imbuga City Walk were also established. Kigali City continued to be the hub for hosting important worldwide meetings such as CHOGAM and the FIFA Congress, as well as major events like Giants of Africa, Trace Awards, and the Basketball Africa League held in Rwanda.
However, under his leadership, there have been some problems have been challenging his authority hence affecting the lives of Kigalians, including poor livelihoods during the time of COVID-19, school dropout rates, especially among children, youth unemployment, and inadequate housing programs, leading to the rise of slums.
Issues awaiting Pudence Rubingisa in the Eastern Province include:
Although not unique to the Eastern Province, teenage pregnancies are a problem. Last year, 13,000 teenagers had premature pregnancies throughout the country, with 37% occurring in the Eastern Province, accounting for 4,797 girls.
Violence and drugs:
The Eastern Province also faces the problem of having the highest crime rate and a high number of Rwandan suicides. The RIB report in 2022 shows that Nyagatare District has the highest rates of suicide and crime, followed by Gatsibo and Bugesera.
There have been reports of cowboys beating people under the pretense of herding the cows of the powerful individuals in this province.
The problem of low-priced milk:
Farmers in the East often complain that they lack the opportunity to sell their milk at a fair price, resulting in low income.
Residents of the Eastern Province frequently complain about the lack of sufficient water, particularly in Bugesera District. They state that access to clean and adequate water is still a challenge for them, whether for domestic use or for activities related to agriculture and livestock.