Local Government Minister, Prof. Anastase Shyaka, has warned people who take advantage of the coronavirus pandemic to swindle people of their money and food on the pretext of using it to support needy families.
The announcement comes after several people launched initiatives to fundraise for the purpose.
“We are receiving requests from people who want to support needy families affected by the pandemic. But it should be done orderly. Supporters should not select beneficiaries on their own.
Supporting needy people should be done under the coordination of village and cells leaders. Local leaders and citizens in villages know who really needs the support and they can help in selecting. And the action must also be accountable to make sure the support reaches beneficiaries,” he said.
“Some people fundraise for supporting needy people and they end up embezzling the support,” he said.
He added that if volunteers provide support in a disorganized manner, it might fuel the spreading of COVID-19.
“We appreciate solidarity in supporting one another but we are trying to avoid disorder. It must be well organized by local leaders,” he said.
Shyaka explained that government has not yet raised the red flag to solicit support from people, but those who want to support are required to do it in a legal manner.
He said that the government will look into supporting the most vulnerable families during the lockdown.
“There are government social protection programmes that are usually aimed at supporting vulnerable families,” he said.
Registration of needy families
On Wednesday morning, residents in Nyarutarama cell of Remera sector in Gasabo district were being registered by local leaders so as to identify needy families.
The same exercise was being done in some other villages of Kigali city, in sectors such as Remera, Muhima, Kimihurura and others according to the by mini-survey by The New Times.
One of the local leaders In Kangondo1 village explained that very needy families were being registered and that the village was going to sit and select those more vulnerable than.
Another resident, Jeanine Mukandutiye said she has been surviving on vending clothes in the neighbourhood.
However, after the lockdown, only essential products such as food are only allowed in markets and shops, a situation that has adversely affected Mukandutiye.
“I used to spend my little earnings on rent and food for the family. But my small business is no longer. We are only looking towards the government and any other people for support to be able to get basic needs. That is why I have been put on the list of needy people,” she said.Follow NkurunzizaMiche