Local leaders warned of illegal fees
The Ministry of Local Government has issued a strong warning to local leaders who solicit unnecessary as well as illegal fees from people who require various services.
The ministry says any leader caught in the act will be dealt with accordingly.
According to a statement issued by the ministry, some leaders, especially at the cell and sector levels, deny people services until they pay some fees, most of the time, which are not related to the services required.
“Some people go to the cell to get required supporting documents to acquire temporary passports; it’s known that these documents costs Rwf 1,200. But some people are denied these services until they bring confirmation that they paid money for health insurance, education, night patrol and money to rent the office; this is illegal,” reads part of the Minaloc statement.
The ministry has vowed to sack officials who will be caught, as a warning to others with similar intent. It however, appeals to the general public to be responsible and participate in government programmes.
A toll free line – 5387 – for people to blow the whistle on any forms of poor service delivery, has been set up.
Victims can also report to other concerned institutions such as the Ombudsman office – 199 – and police – 112 and 3511.
When contacted Tuesday over the issue, Paul Jules Ndamage, Kicukiro District Mayor, told The New Times that it washigh time action is taken to restrain leaders who frustrate citizens.
“What is mentioned in the statement is true. We have for long urged grassroots leaders, especially the ones at the cell level where people most often go for some official documents, to desist from the practice,” Ndamage said.
“Personally, Monday, I held a meeting with cell executives, and warned them again. I told them that whoever is caught will be summarily dismissed.”
Ndamage added: “The issue is, if for example, they [leaders] are building a school in their locality and would like to mobilize funds, they should go out and sensitize the people instead of forcing them to contribute”.
Early this month, Parliament ensured that well meaning people can soon start making lawful disclosures of classified information on graft-related crimes without retribution, as it passed the long awaited bill to protect whistleblowers.
A whistleblower is a person who informs the public or someone in authority about alleged dishonest or illegal activities or misconduct occurring in a government department, a public or private organisation, or a company.
Such misconduct may include violation of a law, rule, regulation and or a direct threat to public interest, such as fraud, health or safety violations, and corruption.
Whistleblowers may make their allegations internally or externally.
The bill states that any entity that receives disclosures must establish reliable mechanisms designed to protect whistleblowers, including their secret reception and the filing of disclosures by using a security code.