Probe into Rwf 4.7b parliament renovation launched

Parliament has set up a Special Commission of Inquiry to dig into the renovation of the parliamentary buiding that cost a whopping Rwf 4.7 billion, The New Times can exclusively reveal.
Speaker Rose Mukantabana speaking to journalists upon her arrival yesterday (Courtsey Photo)
Speaker Rose Mukantabana speaking to journalists upon her arrival yesterday (Courtsey Photo)

Parliament has set up a Special Commission of Inquiry to dig into the renovation of the parliamentary buiding that cost a whopping Rwf 4.7 billion, The New Times can exclusively reveal.

The funds for the renovation were provided by the European Union.

The task, which is set to be completed in a period of three months, will be carried out by a seven-person team headed by Hon. Desire Nyandwi as chairman and Julienne Uwacu ad vice chair.

In a letter written to the Prime Minister of which The New Times has a copy, the Speaker of Parliament; Rose Mukantabana, outlines  what is expected of the team and who should be questioned.

“The Commission of Inquiry will analyse and establish the content of what agreements signed between the Government of Rwanda and the European Union, the one between the government of Rwanda and Thomas and Piron/Fair Construction, and the agreement between the government if Rwanda and Rhein Ruhr International GmbH,” the letter reads in part.

Thomas Piron and Fair Construction were the contractors, while Rhein Ruhr International were the project supervisors.
The Nyandwi Commission will also be required to outline the responsibilities of each construction company and how they were carried out.

“The Commission will also be required to analyse the budget and indicate the amount that has so far been spent and what remains to be spent and put in place a list of what work has been done and what remains to be done,” the letter continues.

The Inquiry will also see the Ministers of Finance and  Infrastructure on the issue. The Ministry of Finance was in charge of disbursing the money and controlling its flow while the Ministry of Infrastructure was in charge of overseeing how the work was being done.

When contacted by The New Times, the Minister of Finance; John Rwangombwa, declined to comment of the ongoing inquiry.

“As you know, an investigation has started and I have already met the MPs. Otherwise I can’t make any comment on an issue that is under investigation,” he said

The Parliamentary Director General of Communication and Outreach, Augustie Habimana, explained to this reporter that the inquiry was commissioned after a series of questions were raised about the renovation.

“The Commission’s job is mainly to tally what was expected, as stated in the contract, and what was achieved. By the end of the inquiry, we hope to get a clear picture of everything from how the money was used and other details,” he said

Originally, the contractors were were given 15 months (from January 2006 to April 2007) to rehabilitate the House’s Plenary Session Structure and construct a new block to house the Senate President’s office and Secretariat. 

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