KIGALI - Documents obtained by The New Times indicate that sixteen former employees of Travaux d’Interêts Générale (TIG) were fired maliciously.
A reliable source from the Ministry of Internal Affairs told this newspaper yesterday that the Office of the Ombudsman wrote on September, 28 directing the TIG’s Executive Secretary, Evariste Bizimana, to reinstate the former employees immediately.
According to the source, the sixteen employees were fired on unsubstantiated grounds since the TIG management had failed to spell out the mistakes committed during investigations.
The findings by the Ombudsman also reveal how some former female employees of TIG were harassed sexually.
The documents indicate that after a thorough investigation, the Ombudsman found evidence against the TIG Executive Secretary harassing his junior female employees.
The move to reinstate former employees comes months after they petitioned the Minister of Internal Affairs, the Police and the Office of the Ombudsman over what they called unfair dismissal.
After their petition, the Ministry and Ombudsman set up a probe team separately to authenticate the claims.
The former employees were jubilant as they learnt the news from the Ombudsman. TIG’s Bizimana had earlier told The New Times that he had acted within the confines of the law in firing the employees.
He said the employees who forwarded the complaints were only disgruntled because they had failed to meet their job requirements. But this is not the way the Ombudsman sees it.
Asked whether he will implement what the Ombudsman directed him to do, Bizimana said he would consult the law first before he reinstates the former employees.
“Those people committed mistakes but we shall see.” Sources from TIG say the leadership is re-advertising the sixteen posts despite the directive from the Ombudsman.
“We don’t know whether Bizimana will listen to the Ombudsman. Our former colleague, Marie Claire Umuhoza, has never been reinstated despite a directive from the Ombudsman,” one former employee, who declined to be named, said.
The New Times has also learnt that the Ombudsman has recommended that three employees be given their full terminal benefits before they cease to be employees of the institution.
When contacted, the Minister of Internal Affairs, Mussa Fazil Harelimana, confirmed that his office received a letter from Ombudsman on Friday.
“TIG leadership was given 15 days to implement what the Ombudsman told them to do. Once the deadline expires, we shall step in and see whether they complied,” Harriman said in a telephone interview yesterday.
The Minister had earlier also confirmed that there were some irregularities within TIG which were unearthed during investigations by his ministry.
TIG is a government agency that oversees community service carried out by people who have confessed and were convicted for participating in the 1994 Genocide against Tutsis.