Graft probe extends to CDF

A probe into the alleged mismanagement of public funds has extended to the Common Development Fund (CDF), The New Times has learnt.
CID Boss Christopher Bizimungu.
CID Boss Christopher Bizimungu.

A probe into the alleged mismanagement of public funds has extended to the Common Development Fund (CDF), The New Times has learnt.

CDF is a government-owned fund set up to support the implementation of decentralization policy which the government considers as the main strategy to attain good governance and sustainable economic development.

Under the direct supervision of the Ministry of Local Government, the fund is coordinated at district level and its major aim is to finance infrastructural projects.

According to the decentralization policy, in order to ensure its effective implementation, availing resources to grassroots administrative entities is crucial to fight poverty.

A highly placed source from the office of Prosecutor General confirmed to this paper that investigators had launched the probe recently.

“Yes, I am aware of the investigations. It is not yet clear whether the money was mismanaged,” another source familiar with investigations at CDF said yesterday.

The source insisted it was still early to apportion blame. When contacted, the Spokesperson for the National Public Prosecutions Authority (NPPA) confirmed the development.

The fund is being investigated but I cannot go into further details…it is still early,” NPPA’s Augustin Nkusi said.

In this respect, the districts and the populations play a determining role in the planning and management of development projects which take into account their needs and priorities to reduce poverty.

The Auditor General’s Report of 2006 indicated that the manner in which CDF leaders spent the public funds was not clear.

The Prosecutor General is now investigating to see if the Auditor General’s allegations are authentic.

CDF has the mission of financing Districts and Kigali City development efforts, with at least 10% of the annual national revenues allocated to the Fund.

The government set up the CDF in 2002. It had to contribute to the sustainable, equitable and participatory development through the financing of development projects from the decentralized entities and the improvement of the local benefits of public services.

Today, many government officials have been arraigned before courts for mismanaging government funds as a result the previous AG’s reports.

Most cases cited by AG previous reports are attributed to poor book-keeping because of lack of skilled personnel among other things.

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