Lack of statistics on survivors irks MPs

Lawmakers, on Wednesday,decried persistent hitches – including a lack of systematic statistics in handling matters concerning the welfare of poor survivors of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.Initially, some MPs suggested that another special committee be set up in the House to solely deal with issues concerning survivors but this was later rejected.
Jean de Dieu Mucyo, the head of the National Commission for the Fight against Genocide (CNLG)
Jean de Dieu Mucyo, the head of the National Commission for the Fight against Genocide (CNLG)

Lawmakers, on Wednesday, decried persistent hitches – including a lack of systematic statistics in handling matters concerning the welfare of poor survivors of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

Initially, some MPs suggested that another special committee be set up in the House to solely deal with issues concerning survivors but this was later rejected.

Final consensus was that the existing standing committee in charge of matters to do with combating the genocide ideology, must do more to address recurrent survivors’ concerns including, lack of housing, school fees and among others.

MPs noted that for survivors’ problems to be solved, appropriately, “one must start somewhere” – have basic figures.

They decried that the real number of survivors is still unknown and thus, the actual percentage of beneficiaries of various housing schemes, or those who remain uncovered, remains indefinite.

According to Ignatienne “children who have gone to school are many but their number is not clear and this downplays the accomplishment.”

Henriette Mukamurangwa criticised the manner in which routine reports are prepared.

“Honourable Speaker, I feel that if there are no statistics, what will we base on? These reports should be improved. When they say, ‘there have been big steps or improvements in the welfare of survivors’, what do they actually mean?

How big is that step? From where to where?” a visibly irritated Mukamurangwa noted.

During the debate, a suggestion to do away with the Fonds National pour l'Assistance aux Rescapés du Génocide (FARG), a fund for Genocide survivors, was also turned down as members realised that it was recently reorganised to embark on a desired path.

After debate, consensus in the House was that legislators should do more to help so that survivors’ problems are correctly addressed.

Some requested that a systematic research study on the actual state of the welfare of survivors be conducted through which proper action can be based on.

The head of the National Commission for the Fight against Genocide (CNLG), Jean de Dieu Mucyo, told The New Times that efforts are being made to rectify the statistics hitch.

According to Mucyo, existing and new data is being compiled, in an orderly manner, so that proper statistics are acquired.

“We are making use of various information already in place. We are not starting from zero,” Mucyo said, referring to data obtained by CNLG from the ministry of local government (Minaloc), Gacaca courts, and the National University of Rwanda.

Mucyo said: “I thank the lawmakers who say they are going to get more involved, especially as they have always been playing a significant role.

“This was a debate that shows the existing problem of the consequences of the Genocide. They are difficult consequences, be it to do with the life and welfare of survivors, be it memorial sites and evidence, we have obvious problems.”

Mucyo also noted that he believes FARG “should stay but we must continue putting right its operations because I see that FARG has progressed.”

The House will press the entire government to act rather than petition the ministry of local government, alone.

Ends

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