Parliament to summon errant local government officials

Members of the parliamentary Standing Committee on Social Affairs intend to summon local government officials, mostly districts, to explain repetitive loss of litigations, illegal dismissals and unlawful recruitment.
Alphonsine Mukarugema (C), Deputy Chairperson of the Social Affairs Parliamentary Committee, speaks during the meeting as Angelina Muganza (R), Executive Secretary of Public Servic....
Alphonsine Mukarugema (C), Deputy Chairperson of the Social Affairs Parliamentary Committee, speaks during the meeting as Angelina Muganza (R), Executive Secretary of Public Servic....

Members of the parliamentary Standing Committee on Social Affairs intend to summon local government officials, mostly districts, to explain repetitive loss of litigations, illegal dismissals and unlawful recruitment.

The queries are part of issues raised in the Public Service Commission (PSC) annual report that was tabled before Parliament in October last year.

The report contains 16 cases by public servants who lodged complaints, which, to the legislator’s dismay, received no lasting solutions.

One case involves Fred Nzeyimana, a former procurement officer in Bugesera District who was dismissed in 2015 over alleged errors in awarding tenders and other accusations.

PSC investigations, however, found that Nzeyimana had no case to answer and ordered the district to reinstate him, but the district ignored the directive.

“We wrote to the district and informed them that there were no grounds whatsoever to fire him, we instead proposed some penalties, but they declined, eventually the person took them to court and won Rwf8 million in damages,” said Angeline Muganza, the executive secretary of PSC.

Muganza said such cases were a result of bad governance where officials opt to serve their own interests and or cover up some mistakes.

“For example, we received a case from Rulindo District where a teacher was denied arrears dating back to 2009 for unknown reasons,” she said.

The teacher, Theogene Nsabimana, whose arrears accumulated to the tune of Rwf216,000, lodged a complaint with the PSC in 2015.

“We advised the district to find a quick solution since the money was not much. We are still waiting for their response,” Muganza said.

Unnecessary losses on taxpayers

Members of the committee expressed concerns over the cases, especially issues that kept bouncing in their annual reports.

“We are going to summon district officials, especially those of Bugesera and Nyagatare, because they top the lists with such issues. It is unfortunate that taxpayers incur a lot of losses due to these kinds of mistakes,” said MP Alphonsine Mukarugema, the deputy chairperson of the committee. 

She added that they would table a final report detailing plausible solutions to curb the rate of complaints that are filed before PSC.

“Some of these mistakes range from illegal dismissals, unlawful recruitment and delays or slashing of salaries. These issues keep coming back although we have noticed some improvements in some areas, but there is still more room to improve,” Mukarugema added. 

The parliamentary commission is set to table its final report before the plenary not later than April. Its proposals and recommendations, if adopted, will be sent to the Office of the Prime Minister for adoption and consideration.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

 

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