The government now seems to be driven by new energy in a bid to recover embezzled funds, plug loopholes that make it possible, but most importantly, improve the accounting mechanisms.
Every time the Auditor General has appeared before Parliament, their reports have always pointed accusing fingers at several government bodies.
Apart from tender irregularities that had stood out prominently in the past – which have now been dealt with, with some measures of success – poor accounting and embezzlement are still the sources of unsupported expenditure.
Most of the losses are found in Non-Budget Agencies (NBAs) administered by districts such as schools, hospitals, and until recently, the community health insurance scheme, Mutuelle de Santé.
The scheme has now been transferred to Rwanda Social Security Board (RSSB), which manages the other arm of health insurance, RAMA, as well as the pension scheme.
But it comes as a surprise to learn that some districts have not transferred bank accounts – that handled the Mutuelle funds – to RSSB.
However, on the positive side of things, it is good news that concerned authorities have gotten off their couch and are pursuing the diverted monies by going after culprits’ assets – here and abroad. Unlike in the past where someone embezzled, was only caught, prosecuted and jailed.
They would patiently ride out their prison time until released to enjoy their ill-gotten gains with impunity. Now the honeymoon is over as more stringent measures are put in place.
But the buck still stops with finance officers, like in the above case of districts still running Mutuelle bank accounts. Why is RSSB still dragging its feet?