Biruta’s wife cleared in FARG scandal

The ongoing probe into the mismanagement of Fund for Support of Genocide Survivors (FARG) has cleared Chantal Uwampinka, the wife to Senate President, Dr Vincent Biruta.
L-R: Senate Speaker Biruta, Eugene Barikana.
L-R: Senate Speaker Biruta, Eugene Barikana.

The ongoing probe into the mismanagement of Fund for Support of Genocide Survivors (FARG) has cleared Chantal Uwampinka, the wife to Senate President, Dr Vincent Biruta.

It had earlier been reported in a local newspaper that Biruta’s wife was benefiting from the fund that is meant to support vulnerable survivors of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

The Prosecutor General, in correspondents he showed The New Times, wrote to the Interim Executive Secretary of FARG, Eugene Balikana seeking verification if the information was accurate.

“Basing on the assessment carried out by FARG and information provided by the Kigali Private University (ULK), we would like to inform you that Chantal Uwampinka never studied on FARG’s support,” Eugene Barikana’s letter, dated February 9 reads in part.

The letter is addressed to Prosecutor General, Martin Ngoga who ordered the investigation to be carried out last year. It was accompanied by a series of receipts Uwampinka paid for her education.

The office of the Prime Minister last year suspended officials of FARG including all members of its Board of Administration and four top managers allegedly over mismanagement of the Fund.

The officials who were removed from their posts included the Executive Secretary, Jean Marie Vianney Karekezi, the Director of Administration and Finance (DAF), Sylvain Nsabimana, the Programmes Officer, Jean Marie Rwagatare, and the Director of ICT, Janvier Ngabo.

Though there was no official reason given in the statement for their suspensions, inside sources alleged it was something to do with the mismanagement of the survivors’ funds.

Balikana, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Local Governance (MINALOC), was then appointed as FARG’s interim Executive Secretary and David Nkusi as the fund’s interim DAF.

“The allegations against Uwampinka are baseless and should be ignored,” Balikana’s letter further read. The story on Uwimpaka was carried in Gasabo, a local Kinyarwanda newspaper.

“Newspapers should be careful when reporting. This mounts to defamation,” prosecution spokesperson Augustin Nkunsi said but declined to say whether Gasabo would be dragged to court over defamation.

The Office of the Prosecutor General is currently investigating different cases of embezzlement of FARG amidst manycomplaints by both the government and beneficiaries of the fund that its funds have been misappropriated.

Government officials are reportedly among those who abused the funds.

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