As Parliament plans to finalise a bill merging the Rwanda Electricity Corporation (RECO) and the Rwanda Water and Sanitation Corporation (RWASCO) the two utilities have not been practically separated and are still operating as one entity.
The bill before parliament seeks to incorporate the two bodies to form the Energy, Water and Sanitation Authority (EWSA), Previously, RECO and RWASCO operated as one entity (Electrogaz) but a new law was later introduced to completely separate the water and electricity utilities.
Despite the fact that the law was passed, little was done to separate them and according to officials, it was established that government would incur ‘unnecessary expenses’ by separating the two entities.
“Although the law was passed, a complete separation was not going to be possible since it would require spending money yet there is a new bill creating EWSA,” said the Minister of Infrastructure, Vincent Karega.
“There are no facilities and funds to facilitate the separation, and with an eventual merger, that is why it was not effected,” he added.
When contacted, the Managing Director of RECO-RWASCO, Yves Muyange said; “following the introduction of the EWSA bill, a decision was taken to let the two entities continue operating under one management.”
This clearly indicates that, the implementation of the EWSA law which is likely to come into force soon will nullify a nonfunctional law that established RECO and RWASCO.
Muyange also backed the minister’s view that the separation required to spend money and so, the government decided to only separate the departments.
“All departments were separated apart from the overhead administration; currently RECO and RWASCO are operating under one acting board and one Managing Director,” said Muyange.
Apparently, parliament had initially raised the same concerns after government presented the bill merging the two, and the lawmakers had questioned the intentions of merging the entities that never separated in the first place.
Explanation was later given to the House and lawmakers found it admissible.
According to Denis Polisi, the Parliamentary Deputy Speaker in Charge of Political Affairs, before passing the EWSA bill, they had to ensure that the finances of RECO and RWASCO are separated and departments had to be separated as well.