Gov’t to re-validate FARG beneficiaries

The government has decided to repeat the recent re-examination exercise for beneficiaries of the Fund for the Assistance of Genocide Survivors (FARG) that was reportedly marred by irregularities.
Eugene Barikana addressing the Press at the FARG offices yesterday. (Photo / J Mbanda).
Eugene Barikana addressing the Press at the FARG offices yesterday. (Photo / J Mbanda).

The government has decided to repeat the recent re-examination exercise for beneficiaries of the Fund for the Assistance of Genocide Survivors (FARG) that was reportedly marred by irregularities.

This was revealed yesterday by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Local Government, Eugene Barikana, at a press briefing held at FARG headquarters in Remera.

The validation exercise was conducted late last year throughout the country to establish the number of Genocide Survivors qualifying to benefit from the Fund but whose results were highly contested on grounds.

“The re-validation exercise will start next week and all partner organs and interested parties have taken part in the drafting of questionnaires and will also be directly involved in the actual exercise,” said Barikana.

The vulnerable survivors of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi are supported through FARG and previous vetting exercises were jointly carried out by the Ministry of Local Government and officials from the Fund.

Barikana admitted that the exercise was characterised by several complaints from survivors seeking to benefit from the fund and that that is why the government has chosen to repeat the whole exercise.

The validation is an annual exercise to weed out fake beneficiaries and the recent one was held at 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 with many survivors claiming to have been unfairly omitted from the lists which prompted the government to continue the exercise. Meanwhile, during the press briefing, statistics of how FARG spends money allocated to it were made public.

According to the statistics, about Rwf73bn have so far been spent in different sectors although according to Barikana, the funds are still insufficient compared to needs of the vulnerable survivors.

Established in 1998, FARG caters for needs such as health care, education, shelter for the survivors. However, the fund has for long been characterised by inconsistencies including mismanagement of the finances.

“We have come up with new strategies to iron out all those issues that have characterised the fund,” said Barikana, who was appointed to head the Fund during the transitional period following the dismissal early this year of its top management.

A cabinet meeting last week appointed Bernard Itangishaka as the new FARG Executive Secretary replacing Jean Marie Vianney Karekezi. However, Itangishyaka is yet to assume the office since he has to be approved by the Senate.

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