Elderly inmates no longer productive, says minister

Despite making Rfw1.6 billion from the 14 prisons across the country, Rwanda Correctional Services (RCS) required a cash bailout of Rwf4.9 billion to meet spending shortfall in prisoners’ feeding, the parliamentary Standing Committee on Budget heard yesterday.

Despite making Rfw1.6 billion from the 14 prisons across the country, Rwanda Correctional Services (RCS) required a cash bailout of Rwf4.9 billion to meet spending shortfall in prisoners’ feeding, the parliamentary Standing Committee on Budget heard yesterday.

In the Financial Year 2015/16, RCS was allocated Rfw6 billion to feed the inmates and run other institutional activities.

RCS has for years now generated income from its inmates who are involved in construction of houses, roads, bridges, agriculture, carpentry, handcraft, welding, tailoring and livestock activities, raising hopes of the possibility of self-sustenance.

Appearing before the committee to discuss the 2015/16 revised budget review, the Minister of State for Economic Planning, Dr Uzziel Ndagijimana, said although a lot of effort had been invested in making the correctional facilities self-reliant, the age of many inmates presented a challenge.

“A lot of effort has been invested to improve these income generating activities but RCS is yet to reach a point where it can sustain itself. In our discussions with RCS, we found out that there are many elderly inmates who can’t contribute to the institution’s productivity,” he said.

Ndagijimana also told the lawmakers that the Government injected additional Rfw430 million into the Gacaca digitisation process, which he said was in line with plans to complete the exercise in two years.

To fix the shortfall in salaries, Rfw3.4 billion was injected in Rwanda National Police, Rfw2 billion in the Ministry of Defence, Rfw600 million in Rwanda Standards Board, and Rwf230 million in Rwanda Development Board.

There are salaries allocated to new teachers and performance bonuses for teachers Rwf2.5 billion.

In the Ministry of Agriculture, he said, Rwanda Agriculture Board will be given  additional Rfw2.5bn to restock the national strategic food reserves, especially after the recent drought that saw the reserves come in handy.

The ministry will also be added Rwf700 million for the construction of valley dams, he added.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

 

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