PARLIAMENT - The Minister of Sports and Culture, Joseph Habineza, has told parliament that the country needs to raise over Rwf 4.7bn for the maintenance and conservation of the main Genocide Memorial sites across the country.
Habineza revealed this early this week while re-appearing before the Lower Chamber of Parliament after his initial explanations on the state of memorial sites had not satisfied the House.
“We have requested this amount in the 2009-2010 fiscal year budget, but we just received a small portion of it,” said Habineza.
The parliament had requested for a written explanation from the Minister claiming that his verbal explanation was ‘amusing’ but not convincing.
A report produced by Habineza lists six main memorial sites in urgent need of rehabilitation; Murambi, Bisesero, Nyarubuye, Nyamata, Rebero and Nyanza-Kicukiro.
The document also indicates that Nyanza-Kicukiro needs Rwf 975m for its rehabilitation while Nyarubuye memorial site needs Rwf800m.
The Murambi and Nyamata Memorial sites require Rwf725m each while Rebero needs Rwf650m and Bisesero Rwf150m.
Reading out the parliamentary recommendations after Habineza’s presentation, Deputy Speaker Denis Polisi suggested to Parliament that government should seek financial assistance from the United Nations and the donor countries.
However, MPs immediately rejected the idea of soliciting for financial aid saying that the issue is totally Rwandan and should be handled by the Rwandans themselves.
Lawmaker Emmanuel Mudidi said: “I am not buying the idea of soliciting funds externally; we should handle this issue from our budget.”
Constance Mukayuhi Rwaka, immediately chipped in to support Mudidi’s submission saying that it’s the State’s responsibly to raise the funds without soliciting from donors.
“It’s a responsibility of the State to restore dignity of its people, we all know the role the West had in the Genocide, particularly the role of the UN; we should not involve them in caring for the people they saw dying but did nothing to help,” said Mukayuhi.
After listening to several queries of MPs, the Speaker, Rose Mukantabana said that details of when or not the parliament should advise the government on soliciting for outside aid would be discussed by the parliamentary bureau.
The Bureau is made up of the Speaker and her two deputies.