NGOMA — The Executive Secretary of Remera Sector, Ngoma district, Jack Bakundukize, has been implicated in the loss of over ten tonnes of fertilisers meant for farmers in the area last year.
The Sector received 490 sacks, about 24.5 tonnes of fertilisers between December 2 and 4, 2008 from the Rwanda Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) meant to be distributed to farmers who had terraced land.
The fertiliser was however, not received by the Sector agronomist, Claudine Nyinawumuntu, or the Executive Secretary, Bakundukize, as was the norm.
The consignment was received by an agricultural official in-charge of terracing in the Sector, Pacific Uwayisaba on the orders of the Sector leader, Bakundukize.
The sector residents accuse the Executive Secretary of sidelining the person concerned by choosing to work with Uwayisaba. Sources say no beneficiary has since received the fertiliser consignment as initially planned but instead it was distributed to a maize cooperative society in the sector and other people close to Bakundukize.
Bakundukize, sources further allege, put the fertiliser into personal use by supplying his maize farm with part of the consignment which is located within the Nyamiyaga cell.
When contacted for a comment, however, Bakundukize denied the claims that he used the fertilisers on his personal maize farm, saying he didn’t own one. He explained that the farm was a sector project, but area residents insist that it belongs to him.
Bakundukize, continued that he distributed 135 sacks, about 6.75 tonnes of fertilisers to a maize cooperative society, a claim society members deny.
‘For us we were given 45 sacks of fertilisers but not 135 as he says’, a member of the cooperative society who preferred anonymity said.
‘So, anyone who claims to have given us 135 sacks is wrong and we are ready to prove that person wrong if need arises’, the member added.
Sources further allege that Bakundukize applied a further hefty amount of organic manure on his other private farm in Rurenge Sector also in Ngoma district, which was also meant for the residents, an allegation he (Bakundukize) has also denied.
According to sources, those who received the fertilisers, were never registered or informed that they were bound to undertake some form of repayment as the fertilizer is meant as a form of credit.
‘It was just given out without adhering to proper procedures while nothing was recorded for those who received this form of assistance. There was a sinister ploy behind bringing Uwayisaba to carry out the duties of the Sector agronomist when he actually has his own responsibilities in the terraces’, sources say.
Meanwhile, other sources say Uwayisaba, has since gone into hiding and Police is hunting for him. Asked why he had sidelined the Sector agronomist, Bakundukize said: ‘The Sector agronomist was away in Ruhengeri where he had gone to pick his transcripts and I sought Uwayisaba as a replacement’.
On why Nyinawumuntu did not resume his duties when she returned, Bakundukize only said, ‘ it was late’. Nyinawumuntu could not be reached for a comment.
On the payments of fertilisers, he said he was initially not briefed on the payment process but, ‘all those who received are willing to pay if need arises’. Other people who are allegedly implicated in the fertilisers’ scandal includes one Jean Damascene Nsengiyumva, and another person only identified as Fidele- who are said to be close friends to Bakundukize.
So far, there has not been any intervention from the district authorities, according to our sources. And efforts to reach the district Mayor for a comment were futile during the weekend, as his phone was off.