KIGALI - The Senate has given a 2-month extension to the Senatorial Commission set up to probe issues concerning disaster assistance to earthquake and flood victims in the Western Province.
The mandate was extended to give the commission more time to come up with a more detailed report on what went wrong in re-settling the victims and restoring infrastructure that was destroyed.
The Committee presented to the Senate, a report that detailed what they termed as negligence by the Prime Minister’s Office and five ministries to help hundreds of the disaster victims still living in makeshift homes.
The Ministries accused of collective negligence include that of Internal Affairs, Health, Local Government, Education and Social Welfare.
The report presented by Senator Valens Munyabagisha indicates that there was gross mismanagement of funds provided to support the victims at that time and prompted the Senate to demand a thorough audit into how the money was used.
“We didn’t have enough time and capacity to provide all the answers. There was a lot of confusing data, lack of paperwork, and the procedures used to issue cheques at that time were very problematic,” said Senator Wellars Gasamagera. “This issue is a web of problems. The only solution to this problem is a vast, systematic audit. It could take time but it can surely give us some answers.”
The need for more details was raised by Senator Ayinkamiye Specioza who said that though the report saddens her, there was need to append blame by mentioning names.
“This report saddens me, however, I do not like the way it was done by collectively making recommendations. I would like to put to task the commission to specify, with names, who for example is responsible for children studying in tents when the money to build schools was provided,” she said
The report points out Nkombo secondary school which was completely destroyed but given Rwf 381 million of which Rwf 287 million was diverted to other activities that had nothing to do with the school.