Corruption is understood depending on how parties involved take part in it. Such tendencies affect many just to benefit a few who misuse or mishandle either government or organization’s funds.
A corrupt mind can never consider the effects that it will cause to society or for a better future of that development that the fund is meant to run.
Many times, some officials meant to direct such funds in their right and clear routes for the benefit of people, instead put self before community.
Leaders or administrators are meant to lead others in the right way that directs them to achieving what they may not have otherwise been able to.
“No one is above the law,” is a principle which other leaders transform to being a slogan when they fail to apply it. To such, it’s just a statement which they secretly leer at until the law actually catches up with them to prove that it really is real.
On Wednesday while addressing the press, President Paul Kagame said that the anti graft laws were indirectly fuelling people to turn to embezzling state funds. The president based on among others, the punishments given to these corrupt officials when found guilty.
There is a boss after another, therefore one of the best ways through which the public can benefit from government strategies to development is by ensuring effective punishments to such culprits and as well as using powers above them to stall their tendencies.
Among this can be effective and thorough inspection of records of expenses and tendering processes in these institutions.
The New Times last week reported that two officials who allegedly embezzled Rwf 84 millions which was meant to cater for development projects in Rusizi district between 2007 and 2008 were ordered by the Ministry of Local government to pay it back.
In details, it was the former Mayor of Rusizi district with his Executive Secretary. At the level of these officials, they had all the powers to access the funds. But like I said before, a district Mayor is answerable to the district council.
It’s in this council that such elements can be checked to prove their performance. Irrespective of the importance of the fund to the public, according to a report from the Ministry of Local Government, Rwf 74 million meant for Mutuelle de Sante was embezzled.
Mutuelle de Sante is a National health insurance scheme that the government of Rwanda has implemented to ensure that her people have access to affordable medication at any government hospital in the country.
Alice Mutoni understands the benefits of Mutuelle de Sante better than any other person who has reluctantly not insured his or her health based on the government’s efforts to sensitize the public.
“I almost failed to clear my medical bill because I did not have a Mutuelle card. Other patients who had the cards were paying only Rwf 300 and less,” Mutoni said. She explains that she was reluctant in applying for the card yet some friends kept on advising her to.
“I immediately applied for the card as soon as I reported home, because I knew that next time I will not meet such expenses.”
However, Mutoni expressed concern and could not believe on learning that district leaders can embezzle funds that are meant to benefit so many people, some even vulnerable and only depending on such affordable treatment.
“I believe that such funds are the ones used to sustain health workers, buy medicines and other things related in medical work so that the health insurance scheme is implemented in our country,” she noted.
She also explains that local leaders should understand this better. She therefore urged government officials to effectively apply the principal “No one is above the law” so that other leaders can learn from them.
The officials did not only cause a loss of Rwf 74 million to the district, but cited to have disappeared with US$ 8500, and paid an identified person in the United Kingdom a sum of US$ 9,800 in a high level scam.
The tendencies of these officials discredit them irrespective of the works they did for the district before.
The Minister of Local Government, Protais Musoni last week during a clean audit assessment meeting warned local leaders to consider steeps being taken upon the two officials so as to avoid corrupt tendencies.
Hopefully, tougher laws on corruption will be formulated to protect the citizens! I wouldn’t want to believe that these laws are sometimes made lenient by lawmakers who feel they might be used against them one day.
I wouldn’t want to sight the US $ 800 laptop bag scenario in Senate as an example.