Widows’ association under probe over FARG money

The leadership of the Fund for Support of Genocide Survivors (FARG), is investigating claims by widows of the genocide that the head of Centre Cesar in Kimironko, diverted part of the money drawn from the fund for her own enrichment.

The leadership of the Fund for Support of Genocide Survivors (FARG), is investigating claims by widows of the genocide that the head of Centre Cesar in Kimironko, diverted part of the money drawn from the fund for her own enrichment.

Centre Cesar, a widows’ association, has 130 registered members and is headed by Nicole Pajou, a Canadian national.

A source from Centre Cesar alleges that Pajou was given about Rwf  9m by FARG to help the widows but how the money was spent is questionable. “She came to Rwanda to help us.

She was not supposed to draw funds from FARG in the first place,” a member, who declined to be named, said last week. 

The source said Centre Cesar was set up mainly to help orphans and those widowed by the Genocide.

Pajou could not be reached for a comment as she was reportedly out of the country.

The New Times yesterday learnt that FARG leaders held a crisis meeting with some of Centre Cesar members at the fund’s offices.

After the meeting, FARG leaders promised to investigate and establish whether the funds were used properly.

The Executive Secretary of FARG, Leonard Itangishaka, confirmed that the fund was investigating the matter.

“We have heard of these claims. As I speak now, I have been visiting these people and we are trying to verify their claims,” said Itangishaka.

He confirmed that Centre Cesar members used to get funds from FARG.

Asked whether it was in order for FARG to release money to people who had initially come to Rwanda help those left behind by the genocide, Itangishaka said that since he was still new in office, he needed time to “study some few things.”

Centre Cesar is no stranger to controversy. In 2006, police reportedly stopped Pajou from taking over 20 children to Canada because her motives had been questioned by the children’s parents.

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