Inmates in various correctional centres in the country who are contracted for work should be paid on time, Members of Parliament have said.
The MPs made the call while touring Gasabo prison in Kimironko on Monday.
The visit to the facility is part of a follow up on how the recommendations made by National Human Rights Commission are being implemented.
According to the Commission’s report released in October 2014, inmates had not received their wage arrears since 2011.
A 2010 law regulating the establishment, functioning and organisation of Rwanda Correctional Services (RCS) stipulates that inmates receive 10 per cent of the total revenues collected by prisons on particular commercial projects engaged in
“This money is meant to cater for inmates extra upkeep. Work was done and money paid. We ask stakeholders to give inmates their money,” said Innocent Kayitare, the deputy chairperson of the Standing Committee on Unity, Human Rights and fight against Genocide.
RCS signs contracts with various public and private entities and uses inmates for labour. The inmates, in addition to earning a share of the revenues, are kept busy and productive. Most projects are in the agriculture and infrastructural sectors.
Supt. John Murara, the director of Gasabo prison, however, explained that the revenue collected by RCS is directly channeled to the national treasury making it hard to reclaim it back to prisons bank accounts to pay the inmates.
Murara said the issue will soon be solved.
“In a previous meeting with all stakeholders, we recommended that inmates will begin receiving their 10 per cent instantly. That money will be deposited directly to specified RCS bank accounts,” Murara said.
The lawmakers noted that there was improvement in inmates’ nutritional standards, hygiene and sanitation.