The Local Government Ministry (MINALOC) is under pressure to bring to book officials who diverted funds meant for genocide survivors.
A number of officials who were in charge of the funds were recently fired. Today, they are being investigated for allegedly embezzling and mismanaging the money.
Protais Musoni, the MINALOC Minister recently told the media that if all evidence was adduced, the suspended FARG leaders would have to face justice.
The irony is that these entire anomalies surfaced after MINALOC released the2007 FARG audit report. It is said that the list was published after nationwide vetting.
However, it’s hard to understand why FARG had to reveal the 2007 report at this moment. How a Fund which failed under MINALOC could be given the same ministry’s Permanent Secretary to run it is another cause to wonder.
The recent validation FARG report prepared by MINALOC removed 1,261 beneficiaries from the Western province list, 1,798 in the Southern province, 2,537 in the Eastern province, 152 in Northern Province and 233 in Kigali City.
Could they have been ghost beneficiaries?
Musoni told the media that his ministry had to intervene after Prime Minister Bernard Makuza’s decision to sack the former FARG management.
The Prime Minister appointed the MINALOC Permanent Secretary, Eugene Barikana, to act as an interim Executive Secretary after the failure of the former administration. It is then that the FARG story started growing ‘a life of its own.’
“We don’t only suspect the suspended FARG team because you cannot claim to be clean when the whole institution has failed,” Musoni told the media. On addition to that he revealed the possibility of bringing the former FARG management to book.
According to the 2007 FARG audit report (of which The New Times has a copy), Kigali City districts including Gasabo received Rwf309, 777,000 but the auditors report shows that Rwf8.4m was diverted to fund other projects in the district.
Nyarugenge district which received Rwf29, 729,000 in the first and second semester could not account for Rwf4, 344,800. There was no evidence to show that the beneficiaries received the money.
In Kicukiro district, the amount received was Rfw31, 746,600 and almost the whole money was diverted. For example, Rwf24, 296,258 and Rwf14, 580,000 was used in the sectors’ operations. In addition, Rwf6, 483,863 was allocated as miscellaneous while Rwf7, 943,300 was allegedly spent on other district activities.
The Eastern Province also faced similar problems. For instance, In Rwamagana district there was no report showing how the money was utilised.
Gatsibo like Bugesera has no report to the effect, in Ngoma there is no evidence that the emergency money was given to the concerned people and Kayonza district never provided the report to show how the funds were utilised.
Nyagatare district has been exceptional in that it used the funds to pay its employees. Surprisingly though, other districts have no clear reports to show how the money was used.
In the Northern Province, the situation too, remains perplexing; in Musanze district, FARG money was given to different people without any clear documents showing that beneficiaries signed on receiving it.
Gakenke district donated some money to a memorial centre and Rusoro health centre. However, the concerned district authorities do not account for the rest.
Furthermore, Rurindo district has not managed to come up with a proper report explaining how the money was used.
In Burera district Rwf2, 000,000 was used to train employees of the district and other good amounts was spent on refreshments after community work (Umuganda), the auditor’s report indicates.
In the Western Province - Nyabihu district, the money is still on the district’s account for reasons well known to them.
Karongi district has no report. However, on a bright note the report indicates that in Rubavu beneficiaries received the money.
According to the report, Rusizi district used most of the money as ‘petit’ cash. Nyamasheke has no detailed report whereas Rutsiro district cannot account for any money.
In the Southern Province, mainly Nyanza district, the list shows beneficiaries, but checkbooks do not match with the list of beneficiaries and Nyamagabe district has no clear report. It is only Ruhango district, which gives a relatively clean accountability.
Surprisingly though, Nyaruguru district has no employee in charge of the survivors’ fund- its laissez-faire kind of situation, thus the auditors could not obtained details to include in the report.
Gisagara district does not show any clear evidences of the beneficiaries.
Huye district is better than other districts in as far as giving written documentation is concerned, but evidences to prove the utilisation of the money is wanting.
Muhanga district has no any evidence on how FARG money is used- the report suspected outright corruption. However, investigation has to be carried out thoroughly to track down all involved and bring them to book.
Such a degree of embezzling public funds and worse the genocide orphans’ one should be dealt with seriously. On the positive note however, the national prosecution authority has vowed to make sure that every one who has a hand in the saga, will be brought before justice.
The government has injected about Frw40 billion into FARG since its inception and the allocation was increasing with the increment in the internal revenues annually.
Government estimates that more than one third of the 309,368 survivors of the 1994 genocide in the country need help. These orphans and widows need funds to access schools, shelter, and medical care among other needs.
It is therefore great immorality to deny them a chance to see the next sunrise by embezzling their funds.