Frank Habineza

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Frank Habineza
Frank Habineza 2016-12-08.jpg
Chairman of the Democratic Green Party
Assumed office
14 August 2009
Preceded byPosition established
Personal details
Born (1977-02-22) 22 February 1977 (age 43)
Mityana, Uganda
Political partyDemocratic Green Party of Rwanda

Frank Habineza is the founder and chairman of the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda, a political party formed in August 2009 in Rwanda. In its first year, the party made six unsuccessful attempts to register.[1] As of mid-August 2010 the party was still not registered, and therefore was unable to submit a candidate for the August 2010 Presidential elections.[2] In September 2018, Frank Habineza and one other member of the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda were elected into Parliament. They are the first Opposition candidates to win seats in the Rwandan parliament since Kagame's Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) came to power after the 1994 genocide.[3]


Habineza was born in Mityana, Uganda in a Rwandese family on 22 February 1977.[4] He attended the National University of Rwanda from 1999 to 2004, graduating in Political and Administrative Sciences with a major in Public Administration. While at University he started a student association campaigning for environment protection. In 2005, he became a personal assistant to the Minister of Lands, Environment, Water, Forestry and Mines. He was the official correspondent of Rwanda Newsline and UMUSESO while he was a student in Butare. He also worked for the former Rwanda Herald Newspaper, whose publisher Asuman Bisika was declared 'persona non grata' in mid-2002.[5][6]

Habineza was for three years (2006–2009), National Coordinator for the Nile Basin Discourse Forum in Rwanda (NBDF), a civil society platform that had over 50 NGOs involved in the conservation of river Nile. He resigned in May 2009. He was also President of the Rwanda NGOs Forum on Water, Sanitation and Environment-RWASEF and founder Chairman for the Rwandan Environment Conservation Organisation (RECOR). He resigned from all the NGOs when he joined active opposition politics. In June 2010 these two organizations distanced themselves from him after a report alleged that donor funds had been diverted for political purposes.[7] The report, issued by the Ministry of Local Government, named Habineza as one of the people behind "briefcase" NGO's that fleece donors, and named five NGOs as vehicles used by him to obtain funding for political activities.[8]

Political career[edit]

Habineza founded the Democratic Green Party (DGPR) in August 2009 as an alternative to the dominant Rwanda Patriotic Front.[6] In April 2010 three leading members of the DGPR resigned due to disagreements over Habineza's activities. They said that the party was being manipulated by foreigners, and denied statements made by Habineza that Rwanda was helping the UK and the US plunder timber from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and that Rwanda had deployed troops in the DRC.[9] In July 2010 the Vice-President of the DGPR, Andre Kagwa Rwisereka, was found dead near a wetland in Butare with his head cut off.[10] He had been repeatedly stabbed. Habineza was among opposition leaders who called for an independent international investigation into the murder, which may have had a political motivation.[11]


  1. ^ Josh Kron (14 July 2010). "Missing Rwandan Opposition Figure Beheaded in Grizzly Attack". Daily Nation. Retrieved 11 August 2010.
  2. ^ "One Year Struggle of the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda". Rwanda Information Portal. 9 August 2010. Retrieved 11 August 2010.
  3. ^ "Two opposition lawmakers elected in Rwanda for the first time". Reuters. 5 September 2018. Retrieved 8 February 2020.
  4. ^ "Frank Habineza's Profile". Democratic Green Party of Rwanda.
  5. ^ "No New Ideas From Chairman of New Party in Rwanda". Focus Media (Kigali). 12 November 2009. Retrieved 11 August 2010.
  6. ^ a b "New political party born to counter RPF". Rwanda News Agency. 14 August 2009. Archived from the original on 8 December 2018. Retrieved 11 August 2010.
  7. ^ Edmund Kagire (19 June 2010). "Environmental NGOs Disown Frank Habineza". The New Times (Rwanda). Retrieved 11 August 2010.
  8. ^ Edmund Kagire (11 June 2010). "Report Pins Frank Habineza On Sham NGO Racket". New Times. Retrieved 11 August 2010.
  9. ^ Kennedy Ndahiro (23 April 2010). "Top Green Party Officials Defect". The New Times. Retrieved 11 August 2010.
  10. ^ Musoke David (14 July 2010). "Opposition Leader Found Dead". Daily Nation. Retrieved 11 August 2010.
  11. ^ "Opposition Wants Probe Into Politician's Death". Radio France Internationale (Paris). 15 July 2010. Retrieved 11 August 2010.