KIGALI - A senatorial report on the plight of floods and earthquake victims in the districts of Rusizi, Nyabihu, Rubavu and Nyamasheke has accused the Prime Minister and five other cabinet Miniters for neglecting the victims, who live in an appalling situation today.
The Ministries accused of collective negligence include that of Internal Affairs, Health, Local Government, State Ministers for Primary and Secondary education and Social Welfare
Presenting the 83-page report that was also made into a documentary, Senator Valens Munyabagisha said that there was need for an extensive audit that would explain the financial loopholes that were observed in the four districts to account for the money that government availed to help the victims.
“The issues in these districts are overwhelming. This report details the seriousness of the issue of negligence and mismanagement that was portrayed in the support that was provided by the government in the camps of Kibangira, where the person in charge of that camp run away after mismanaging and embezzling most of the resources,” he said.
The report also indicates that though a lot of money was invested in the process of rehabilitating the districts immediately after the disasters, there is no paperwork to indicate how large sums of money was spent.
“The district of Rubavu for example withdrew a sum of five million to buy some emergency items like food which was needed at that time but the district authorities cannot produce a detailed account of how the money was used,” he said
The documentary shows collapsed buildings from where children attend classes, the makeshift tents that are still being used as hospitals and the temporary grass thatched houses where the locals are still living years since the disasters.
“The makeshift tent that is being used as a hospital is too old. During the day, the patients have to be moved outside due to the smouldering heat and at night, the patients suffer the consequences of the cold. When it rains, it’s another problem,” the report says.
Sen. Immaculee Kayumba Gahima pointed out that calling the ministers involved with issue was not enough.
“This is an issue of negligence and carelessness on the part of these individuals.”
“This is total irresponsibility. I feel that for a start, we should do everything possible to correct the mistakes that were made and then we will ask questions on what went wrong, who and why later,” she said.
Senator Balinda Rwigamba said that “the issues raised in this report are heavy and they highlight the irresponsibility of some of these leaders.”
“Recklessness is destructive. I feel that these are heavy issues because for example I do not understand why building materials should be locked up in stores while people suffer with shelter issues in makeshift structures.”
“This is nergligence on the part of some individuals and someone should come here and give us an explanation,” he said.
Senator Proper Higiro said, “we initially raised an alarm for these locals when they were in trouble.”
“I think its time we raised another alarm because this report raises several corruption, mismanagement and abuse of office issues.”
“I insist that the commission points out names of people who are specifically responsible for this mess,” he said
The debate on the report continues today.