FARG to release draft list next week

KIGALI - A provisional report from the just concluded countrywide exercise of establishing the number of Genocide Survivors qualifying for government support is to be released early next week. This was revealed yesterday by the newly appointed acting Executive Secretary of the Fund for Support of Genocide Survivors (FARG), Eugene Barikana in a telephone interview.

KIGALI - A provisional report from the just concluded countrywide exercise of establishing the number of Genocide Survivors qualifying for government support is to be released early next week.

This was revealed yesterday by the newly appointed acting Executive Secretary of the Fund for Support of Genocide Survivors (FARG), Eugene Barikana in a telephone interview.

The vulnerable survivors of the Genocide are supported through FARG and the vetting exercise was jointly carried out last week by the Ministry of Local Government and officials from the Fund.

According to Barikana, the process has been characterized by several complaints from survivors seeking to benefit from the fund and government has chosen to keep updating the list of the beneficiaries for this year.

“I am hopeful that the report will be out at least by Tuesday but it will be a report about the process since the real validation activity is still ongoing,” said Barikana who is also the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Local Government.

The validation is an annual exercise that screens out fake beneficiaries of the fund and this year, it was held at the village (umudugudu) levels unlike the previous years when it used to be carried out at sector levels.

Many complaints have been registered since the validation began with many survivors claiming to have been unfairly omitted from the list of beneficiaries which prompted the government to continue the vetting.

“It is a long process that will go on and on until it becomes clear,” he said explaining that government instructed local leaders to receive all the available complaints for further examination.

The fund, established in 1998, caters for needs such as health care, education, shelter and other needs for the vulnerable survivors of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

The fund has however been characterised by inconsistencies including adding people not qualifying to benefit on the list of beneficiaries, which is allegedly perpetrated by some officials and leaders at local levels.

The Minister of Local Government, Protais Musoni, had told The New Times last week that the validation process would help government identify causes of irregularities found within FARG management and efforts to support genocide survivors as well as the people involved.

“The causes of these problems within FARG may be cultural, legal, political, managerial, poor skills, or anything. We will know the exact cause during the validation and come up with remedies,” he had said.

The entire management of FARG was earlier this week sacked by the Prime Minister allegedly over the inconsistencies in this fund into which government annually sinks 5 percent of its revenues.

It is said that about 30,000 beneficiaries are eliminated on FARG’s list every year but another bigger number is added as a result of the inconsistencies.

Government estimates that more than one third of the 309,368 survivors of the genocide in the country are in dire need of help and these include those who were orphaned and widowed by the Genocide.

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