Unregistered international and local Non Governmental Organizations (NGO’s) have been given a deadline of up to the end of the month to clear themselves with the Immigration and Emigration office, The New Times can reliably report.
The development was confirmed by Philip Christensen, the chairman of the International NGOs’ Forum, who said that members of his association have until the end of this month, to have presented their credentials to the Immigration department.
“We are supposed to submit all our credentials that will earn us licenses to operate in Rwanda by March, 31, 2009,” Christensen said on phone.
According to reliable sources, some NGOs have received billions from donors but the funds do not reflect the activities on ground, which prompted government to set stringent measures to monitor the organizations.
Last December, immigration officials wrote warning letters to all international NGOs telling them to clear all outstanding issues for accreditation.
It is reported that 130 NGOs have so far turned up for inspection following the announcement that foreign NGOs will be handled by the Immigration and Emigration department instead of the Local Government Ministry.
“The NGOs were notified last year and some have persistently turned a deaf ear, but they have a deadline at the end of this month,” said one source.
“It is still too early to list their names but when the time comes, we shall name them,” the source added.
Despite the fact that Claudette Umulisa, the head of the Nationality and NGOs department in the immigration office could not disclose the number of international NGOs operating illegally, a reliable source said that six of these have since been identified.
An example for this is a recent audit report now in courts of law that indicated that leaders of Italia Solidale, a local church-affiliated NGO, diverted about Rwf 3billion meant for orphans.