KIMIHURURA - Prime Minister Bernard Makuza has announced that, since the establishment of the Fund for Genocide Survivors (FARG), the government has spent Rwf 110.8 billion towards the welfare of survivors.
The Premier made the remarks while appearing before the Senate to answer questions related to what had, been accomplished to ensure the welfare of survivors, especially in providing them with decent housing.
FARG was established in 1998 to improve the welfare of Genocide survivors by providing them with basic needs like shelter, healthcare, education and guide them towards self-sustainability.
“So far, about Rwf 78.1 billion has been spent on education while Rwf 7.7 billion was spent on the health of survivors,” said the Premier.
He added that Rwf 15.9 billion was spent on shelter while Rwf 9 billion went towards helping them start income generating activities.
Part of what the Senate had requested the Prime Minister includes providing the actual number of survivors who have benefited from the fund.
According to Makuza, a database was created and in January 2010, a census of Genocide survivors benefiting from several initiatives was also conducted.
“Figures collected indicate that 38,679 houses were constructed out of the 40,187 houses needed,” the Prime Minister said.
Of the constructed houses, 12,908 need to be renovated.
The head of government told the Senate that 876 beneficiaries sold their houses, while 144 are illegal beneficiaries.
“Indeed there was mismanagement of FARG funds, but after creating this database, we came up with strict measures to ensure that no more errors were made,” said the Premier.
He added that mismanagement led to several reshuffles of the fund’s management, and FARG activities decentralised to ensure efficiency and proper accountability.
The Prime Minister also unveiled a list of 21 entrepreneurs who misused or embezzled funds meant for the construction of houses of Genocide survivors.
Among them include Védaste Ngarambe of KCC enterprise and Lambert Byemayire of SEGH enterprise who are alleged to have squandered approximately Rwf 102 million and Rwf 98.5million respectively.
All the 21 cases are in high court.
Following the Prime Minister’s presentation, Senator Agnes Kayijire expressed her concerns over lack of support documents on all work that was done.
“There are no clear reports on work done between 2008 and 2009. There is also a problem in accessing information related to previous work done, I recommend the government to look into this as a measure to ensure efficiency,” she said.
Senator Antoine Mugesera said: “Our main aim was to send a message to the government that there is a problem related to the construction of survivors’ houses. It is clear that our message was effectively delivered and we expect no further errors in future”.
Several other senators requested that the government ensures proper management of funds meant for genocide survivors and ensure efficiency and proper bookkeeping.