KIGALI - The Senatorial Commission charged with investigating the housing program financed by FARG (Fund for Genocide survivors) has accused the Ministry of Local Government (MINALOC) of providing misleading information, The New Times reports
The President of the Senatorial Committee on Social Affairs, Agnes Kayijire, told the Senate yesterday that though the Permanent Secretary in MINALOC; Eugene Barikana, had denied having any knowledge of any project agreement between FARG and the Umbrella Organisation of Genocide Survivors, IBUKA, her Commission had proof of what she called “falsehood”.
“We found out it was not true because on 26/04/2009, as the Acting Executive Secretary of FARG, Barikana chaired a meeting between the FARG and other associations representing genocide survivors,” Kayijire said.
She told the the stunned Senators that on the agenda of the meeting Barikana chaired, was the issue of how a database of beneficiaries could be put in place, reviewing the project supported by FARG in 2008 and assessing those that would be supported in 2009 and to polish the Memorundum of Understanding (MoU) between FARG and other survivors associations among others.
The agreement between FARG and IBUKA was signed on April 28, 2006.
Kayije also told the Senate how the State Minister for Social welfare, Christine Nyatanyi, had also denied any knowledge of the agreement.
She, however, explained that the former Executive Secretary of FARG, Jean Marie Vianney Karekezi had told her Commission that Nyatanyi was fully aware of the agreement because each decision taken by the FARG management committee was directly communicated to MINALOC which oversees the fund, since its inception in 1998.
“We wrote to FARG, IBUKA and MINALOC to furnish us with information and in two weeks, all except the latter had brought in the required information,” She said. “It took two months for MINALOC to give us information; it was partial and most of it untrue.”
Kayijire gave an example of the iron sheets, whose quantity supposedly supplied according to MINALOC reports, did not tally with the contract signed to deliver the iron sheets.
Senator Antoine Mugesera, who was also part of the Commission, referred to the MINALOC- FARG saga as scandalous.
“If this was being said somewhere else, it would be scandalous because first of all, MINALOC is in charge of FARG, and yet it is the same institution that has hindered the fund’s progress. How do you explain what the ministry did, when it got the money supposed to support genocide survivors, and combined it with projects to help other generally poor people,” he asked
Senator Seth Kamanzi, asked the Commission about the suspicious number of beneficiaries of FARG.
“In the report, you mention the issue of numbers. Isn’t it possible that the number of beneficiaries was altered intentionally to benefit whoever did it?” he inquired.
Kayijire explained that the numbers were false adding that a new census was in the pipeline.
Meanwhile, 15 out of the 22 Senators voted to summon Minister James Musoni answer queries regarding the FARG saga since the Ministry he was heading at the time (Finance) was financing the fund’s budget and following up how the money was being used.
At the end of the session, the Senators agreed to have their final decision in a week’s time.