Time FARG grew up

It seems that some government agencies want to clean house in a dramatic fashion to start the New Year with clean linen which they can proudly show in public. The beginning of a new year should be the time to introspect ourselves, to see what worked for us in the last year and improve on it; and to examine the causes of our failures and chart a different course. If there ever was a government department that has failed the test of time since its inception, it is the Fund for Support of Genocide Survivors (FARG). Year in year out, fingers have pointed to FARG, and the fact that it has become a milking cow to some unscrupulous officials who have diverted it from its main purpose; to ease the suffering of survivors of the 1994 genocide of Tutsis. The biggest culprits in the mismanagement of the fund have been, with no doubt, local government officials.

It seems that some government agencies want to clean house in a dramatic fashion to start the New Year with clean linen which they can proudly show in public.

The beginning of a new year should be the time to introspect ourselves, to see what worked for us in the last year and improve on it; and to examine the causes of our failures and chart a different course.

If there ever was a government department that has failed the test of time since its inception, it is the Fund for Support of Genocide Survivors (FARG).

Year in year out, fingers have pointed to FARG, and the fact that it has become a milking cow to some unscrupulous officials who have diverted it from its main purpose; to ease the suffering of survivors of the 1994 genocide of Tutsis.

The biggest culprits in the mismanagement of the fund have been, with no doubt, local government officials. They have used their privilege on how the funds are used in their localities as leverage to buy favours; or as blackmail.

Having access to the fund has also become a lucrative venture. Administrators have awarded their cronies contracts to build houses for survivors, but the end result in most cases has been structures no better than pigsties.

It is easy to lay blame on district officials who had exclusive say on how the money was used and ended up being tempted when they found themselves standing alone inside an open and unguarded bank.

But a share of the blame should go to FARG administrators at the head office in Kigali who did not bother sending people to guard the money because they assumed that the local officials were Angels.

FARG has limped on for the past decade and managed to help tens of thousands who would otherwise be on the streets.

10 years should be enough for FARG to get out of the diapers and learn to take responsibility for its failures. This is not the time to count the holes in its house; it should instead start patching them up and not wait to see how many more it will take before it crumbles down.

Ends

 

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