Who is to blame for misused Hanga Umurimo funds?

Editor, Reference is made to Lonzen Rugira’s article, “To blame failures on the ‘charity mindset’ is to shirk responsibility” (The New Times,August 25).
A young man fabricates metal boxes in an open workshop in Gikondo. John Mbanda.
A young man fabricates metal boxes in an open workshop in Gikondo. John Mbanda.

Editor,

Reference is made to Lonzen Rugira’s article, “To blame failures on the ‘charity mindset’ is to shirk responsibility” (The New Times, August 25).

Mr Rugira has done an excellent job; to question the officials’ excuse by explaining their dismal failure to plant an entrepreneurial culture among the Rwandan population and blowing up taxpayers’ monies in the process.

A programme or project usually fails to achieve its set goals for two main reasons; shoddy design that fails to properly analyse the causes of the problem to be addressed and the circumstances to have changed for the better or poor implementation.

If our rocket scientists knew Rwandans suffer from a “charity mentality”, why did they then hand these people our money and expect, presto, fully-fledged entrepreneurs?

Yes, lack of affordable credit is a major obstacle to firm formation and growth in our country. But it isn’t the only cause and its elimination will not in (and of) itself create entrepreneurs among our people. True enterprise requires risk of one’s own resources, not those handed to you by government bureaucrats or government-enabled project officials.

The only quibble I might have with Mr. Rangira’s excellent opinion is to spread the blame widely. As the wise say, “everybody’s business is anybody’s business and ultimately nobody’s fault”.

Ascribe direct individual responsibility for the failure from conception to implementation. Not for the purpose of witch-hunting, but to engrain accountability, so that officials don’t gamble with our money again.

Mwene Kalinda, Rwanda

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