Senate to summon PM over disaster victims

KIGALI - The Prime Minister, Bernard Makuza and five other cabinet Ministers will all appear before an ad hoc Senatorial Commission to answer accusations of neglect of disaster victims in the Western Province, The New Times has learnt. A Senate commission on the plight of floods and earthquake victims in the districts of Rusizi, Nyamasheke, Nyabihu and Rubavu, discovered that they still live in appalling conditions, years after the disasters.
TO APPEAR BEFORE PARLIMAMENT: Prime Minister Bernard Makuza
TO APPEAR BEFORE PARLIMAMENT: Prime Minister Bernard Makuza

KIGALI - The Prime Minister, Bernard Makuza and five other cabinet Ministers will all appear before an ad hoc Senatorial Commission to answer accusations of neglect of disaster victims in the Western Province, The New Times has learnt.

A Senate commission on the plight of floods and earthquake victims in the districts of Rusizi, Nyamasheke, Nyabihu and Rubavu, discovered that they still live in appalling conditions, years after the disasters.

The top government officials summoned by the senate are collectively accused of negligence, mismanagement and causing the loss of millions of government’s funds.

The Ministries involved in case include that of Internal Affairs, Health, Local Government and Education.

The Prime Minister is primarily blamed for not having followed up on the work of the Disaster Management Unit which was initially based in his office at the time of the disasters.

“The Unit was involved in the rescue missions after the disasters, but was the least involved in the rehabilitation process of the victims, mainly due to the unit’s poor coordination mechanisms,” the report reads in part.

Senator Valens Munyabagisha, who heads the Senatorial commission, says that plans are underway to see that all the officials are summoned in accordance with the law.

“We have already started; we are summoning everyone including the Prime Ministers, Ministers, Permanent Secretaries, Mayors, Vice Mayors, entrepreneurs and many others,” he said.

“Our mandate requires us to give the Senate Bureau a proposal detailing the names of people we wish to appear before the commission and we can take it from there,” he said.

Presenting the 83-page report that was also made into a documentary, Senator Munyabagisha said that there was need for a comprehensive audit that would explain the financial loopholes that were observed in the four districts.

Munyabagisha told The New Times yesterday that no stone would be left unturned in summoning all those involved in the scandal.

The Senator said that his team, which was given an extra two months to dig up more details, would perhaps deliver their report before the expiry of the deadline.

“We are on track. We have already summoned some local leaders, and if everything goes according to plan, we may even be ready to deliver the report before the two months elapse,” he said

On Monday, the Commission received the former Mayor of Nyamasheke and members of the private sector who were involved in the botched construction of schools, houses and hospitals in the affected areas.

As part of the inquiry, the Commission will today meet Martin Manzi and Alexis Munyaneza, officials from the Education and Health Ministries respectively and will tomorrow meet the Mayors of Rusizi and Nyabihu districts.

No date has been set for the Prime Minister’s appearance.

Ends

 

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