Although more funds have been allocated to the justice sector in the forthcoming 2017/18 budget to fast-track implementation of different priority projects, officials have called for continued resource mobilisation to ensure all pending projects are completed.
This was said in a policy dialogue on Wednesday that brought together budget managers of various institutions affiliated to the justice sector, development partners and members of the civil society working closely with the sector.
The meeting discussed areas prioritised during the 2017/18 fiscal year planning and budgeting process, sector targets and related policy action, policy related studies to be conducted and a progress report for financial year 2016/17.
“In the new budget some of the proposed priorities were fully appropriated, others were partially appropriated while others were not at all covered by the budget allocated to the sector,” a report to the stakeholders reads in part.
Speaking at the meeting, Isabelle Karihangabo, the permanent secretary at Ministry of Justice, confirmed that some projects have not yet been completed due to various reasons such as lack of funds while others lacked competent bidders despite the tender process being carried out.
“We hope that certain projects will be completed following more funds that have been allocated to them in the new fiscal year,” she added.
Projects in question
Anastase Nabahire, the coordinator of Justice, Reconciliation, Law and Order Sector Strategy (JRLOS) who presented plans for next fiscal year and progress on existing projects, said that despite the effort to complete pending projects, there remain some gaps.
“It is a good opportunity to advocate for the funding of these priorities, especially the second phase of the Integrated Electronic Case Management System (IECMS),” he explained.
The system, whose first phase was rolled out this month, targets centralising activities in all the institutions in the judicial sector to among others, ensure expeditious delivery of justice.
He said that for Phase 2 of IECMS, only Rwf400m was allocated, leaving a funding gap of Rwf24bn and consequently, only 10 per cent of this phase will be implemented.
The report shows that only Rwf400m was allocated for the second phase of the construction works of the Institute of Legal Practice and Development (ILPD) building while the remaining works require a total of Rwf1.5bn.
The report shows that only Rwf954m out of Rwf3.1bn requested was allocated to priority of reinforcing justice delivery at the local level by strenghening the Abunzi.
It also shows that only Rwf18.7m against Rwf100m needed was allocated the architectural design and study for construction and extension of Primary Courts chambers in Kigali.
Nabahire said Rwf1.4bn allocated to ongoing project of Construction of Commercial Court in Nyamirambo will leave the project execution at 41 per cent, from the current 22 per cent.
Digitisation of Gacaca courts archives was partially financed with Rwf1.3bn while the estimated budget to finalise the whole project is Rwf2.4bn
So far, he said, 16,740,330 pages (out of 60,000,000 )are already digitised and pledged that the allocated budget for the next fiscal year will allow for 87 per cent of the cumulative execution of the whole project.
Meanwhile, the project to study the review of Rwandan laws has, according to officials, stalled for years but Kalihangabo explained that they had failed to get a qualified bidder to carry out the study.
She said that they called for bids twice and failed to get a suitable candidate and, as a solution, they have negotiated the possibility of single sourcing in order to find a suitable consultant firm.
Kalihangabo said that the firm has since been identified and the ministry has secured authorisation from Rwanda Public Procurement Authority engage it on a single sourcing basis.