HUYE — The Prime Minister Bernard Makuza on Monday criticized local leaders in the Southern Province over irregularities that have frustrated initiatives geared towards helping vulnerable Genocide Survivors over the past 10 years.
Speaking during a provincial security meeting held in Huye district, Makuza noted that some unscrupulous people with support from local leaders have fraudulently benefited from schemes meant for vulnerable Genocide survivors.
He said: “Undeserving people have received assistance in education, health insurance and housing while the genuine beneficiaries continue to suffer. This has been in most cases done with the knowledge of local authorities.”
The Premier said that the government will no longer tolerate such tendencies that seek to derail the country’s progress.
The meeting comes days ahead of the national validation exercise of vulnerable Genocide survivors that is set to start on January 10.
Makuza called upon local leaders to use this opportunity to rectify all the wrong data that was submitted over the years.
“This should be treated as an issue of national interest.
Involve communities in selecting vulnerable Genocide survivors and also urge them to propose areas in which they can be helped to sustain themselves,” he said Makuza.
According to the Executive Secretary of the Fund for the Assistance of Genocide Survivors (FARG) Jean Marie Karekezi, the validation exercise will be done at the village levels.
“We have figures from a survey conducted by the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda (NISR) showing the number of vulnerable Genocide survivors who need assistance. These are the figures we want to validate right from the village level,” said Karekezi.
Research conducted by the NISR puts the figure of vulnerable Genocide survivors much lower than that one produced by districts.
“There is a big gap in the figures we have,” said Karekezi. “This validation exercise will help us come up with a definite figure that will assist in planning,” he added.
Established in 1998, FARG assists vulnerable Genocide survivors in three categories; the orphans, widows and those disabled as a result of the 1994 Genocide.
FARG has so far received over Rwf70billion funding for its activities since its inception.
According to Karekezi, the biggest part of the fund’s budget goes to education; a sector he says has yielded positive results.
At the same meeting, the minister of Health Dr Richard Sezibera called upon local leaders to always update lists of vulnerable Genocide survivors.
“We do not want to see a situation where people remain vulnerable and in need of assistance. Those who have been helped out of poverty through different initiatives by government should be scrapped off the vulnerable lists,” said Sezibera.
The Provincial Governor, Fidele Ndayisaba said that the validation exercise will be monitored closely by different stakeholders including army and Police authorities to ensure transparency.
The meeting was also attended by senior army and Police officials in the province, district Mayors, Sector Executive Secretaries and Presidents of district Genocide Survivor associations.