SENATE - Members of the upper chamber of Parliament Thursday grilled Cabinet ministers on deficiencies in public service delivery land disputes and expropriations.
This follows a report recently released by the Office of the Ombudsman which was dominated by the two categories of cases.
The ministers summoned were Protais Musoni of Local Government and Stanislas Kamanzi of Natural Resources.
The report shows that many of the Ombudsman’s letters to government institutions went unanswered, a frustration they said is encountered by many Rwandans seeking public services.
“The act of not responding is a sign of impunity and corruption,” said Senator Joseph Karemera.
Musoni explained lack of customer service mentality, skills, and heavy workloads to some public servants as some of the reasons why services are delaying.
“Other problems hindering quick public service delivery include lack of procedural manuals for servants and inadequate communication means,” Musoni revealed.
“Management of the system is still a problem. It is a big setback when service is still considered as a favour while it is actually a right in our administration system,” he added, but he said that government has already come up with plans to improve its service delivery.
Among the remedies, he said, is the ongoing restructuring of both central and local government responsibilities, establishing a citizen information data-base and sensitizing public servants on governance values.
Another solution to the inconsistency is the setting up of procedure manuals that would contain even punishments for leaders who take long to serve the people.
“Public service delivery will improve gradually,” he assured the Senators.
Members of the Senate also quizzed the ministers on disputes that continue to characterize expropriation processes in Kigali City and they wanted to know if there were clear plans to bring them to an end.
“Many residents are not well informed and prepared before expropriation operations while it is their absolute right,” observed Senator Agnès Mukabaramba.
Kamanzi said that he believed that the ongoing campaigns to design a policy on the city structures, empower local land commissions, institution of professional land valuers and the sensitization of people on land laws would solve most of the country’s land management problems.
Most Senators in the session were satisfied by the explanations and deemed the government’s plans efficient and they recommended that the ministers aggressively implement them for efficiency.
“I think they have good plans, let us review how they will implement them next year,” said Senator Antoine Mugesera.
In total, twelve Senators against eight voted that their chamber found the government’s plans in good shape and voted that there was no need for Senate to contribute written recommendations to the ministers.