PARLIAMENT - The Prime Minister Bernard Makuza, appeared before a joint session of Parliament in which he provided a detailed account of numerous policies adopted by government to promote good governance, over the past 15 years.
The Premier, who had been summoned by Parliament to provide answers on a wide range of issues, went at length to provide details on numerous policies and initiatives implemented by government that mainly focused on improving accountability and transparency in delivering of public services.
Makuza’s presentation rotated on four pillars touching mainly on; the legal instruments put in place, establishment of institutions that provide a check and balance on government operations, institutional and human capacity building measures and the numerous policies put in place to promote zero tolerance to corruption.
The PM took much time responding to lawmakers’ questions seeking to know what kind of measures government had taken to follow up on the findings of numerous Auditor General reports.
Working on the recommendations of the Auditor General, Makuza said that 74 government institutions implicated in the 2007 report are to be investigated for the financial losses they caused to government.
The PM provided a report on how government had handled cases of mismanagement of state resources as far back as 2004.
He told Parliament that close to 480 civil servants were implicated in an investigation launched by government between July 2004 and September 2009.
Citing an example of the 2006 Auditor General’s report, the PM said that 108 institutions had been investigated over Rfw 5.3 billion unaccounted for and culprits had been punished.
According to his report, a probe was launched on 105 institutions and 20 were found to have caused a financial loss worth Rwf165m.
The Prime Minister pointed out that one of the major decisions taken to root out embezzlement was working with the Supreme Court to make sure that former civil servants tried by courts of law and found guilty would never be employed by government again.
Makuza said that with the support from the Supreme Court, his office began receiving lists of civil servants whose cases had been finalised and are guilty of corruption or crimes related to it.
“This lists are handed over to the Ministry of Labor and to the Public Service Commission with instructions to be careful that none of the names on the list appears among their new recruits,” he said.
He told members of parliament that the government was making progress in uprooting embezzlement within its offices.
Makuza also said that laws and policies had been put in place to help bridge any gaps that may provide loopholes for embezzlement.
“We have, for example, reduced the number of government bank accounts in the National Bank of Rwanda (BNR) and closed most of those in commercial banks to ease the accountability process,” he said
Makuza added that the government had established a Financial Management Committee at the district level and with Kigali City that would be charged with coordinating districts and Private Public Partnerships.