Kagame launches Ngororero dev’t plan

President Paul Kagame, mid this week, unveiled a five-year development programme for Ngororero District, Western Province.
Transparency Rwanda chairperson Immaculee Marie Ingabire. The Sunday Times / John Mbanda.
Transparency Rwanda chairperson Immaculee Marie Ingabire. The Sunday Times / John Mbanda.

President Paul Kagame, mid this week, unveiled a five-year development programme for Ngororero District, Western Province.

The Rwf72 billion programme, dubbed ‘Ngororero District Special Development Programme’ covers several socio-economic development initiatives. Ngororero is one of the poorest districts in the country. The district Mayor, Gideon Ruboneza, said the plan involves an electrification project in seven sectors. Currently, only six out of 13 sectors in the district are connected to the national grid. “We intend to construct 348 kilometers of tarmac roads, increase clean water distribution, renovate and modernise three hospitals, construct three modern markets and terrace 2,800 hectares of land,” Ruboneza revealed. He noted that 7,000 cows will also be donated to the poor.

Rwanda-India strengthen bilateral ties

Rwanda and India on Wednesday signed various Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) to strengthen bilateral relations between the two countries. The MoUs were signed by Rwanda’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Louise Mushikiwabo, and India’s Minister of State for External Affairs, Preneet Kaur.  The pacts will see Rwanda and India establish a Joint Permanent Commission on renewable energy cooperation and solar electrification of 35 schools. 2011 was a remarkable development in relations between both countries marked by private and public sector projects in education, health, science, technology, SMEs and infrastructure.

Prosecution unearths more evidence against Ingabire

The prosecution has discovered new evidence from the Netherlands pinning Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza, the embattled leader of the yet-to-be-registered political party, FDU-Inkingi, who this Monday reappeared before the High Court in Kigali. Before the evidence could be disclosed in court, Ingabire objected, requesting the presiding judge, Alice Rulisa, to give her more time to review the evidence.“I got a copy of this evidence implicating me last week… I request to be granted one month to go through the document and prepare my defence,” Ingabire told court.Ingabire faces terrorism charges with the prosecution alleging that she collaborated with senior members of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) to form a military wing known as Coalition of Defence Forces (CDF), to destabilise the country.She is also accused of promoting ethnic divisionism. The judge granted Ingabire one month to review the evidence against her. Ingabire was arrested in October 2010; she has since been accused by prosecu
tion of delaying her trial by continuous requests for adjournment.

Rwanda, Burundi sign cross-border trade pact

Rwandan and Burundian traders have received a major boost after the launch of a One Stop Border Post (OSBP) at the Gisenyi-Nemba border in Bugesera District that is expected to significantly reduce non-tariff barriers in both countries.It officially became operational this Monday after the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Louis Mushikiwabo, and her Burundian counterpart, Laurent Kavakure. The MoU paves the way for both countries to work together to bolster trade flows by harmonising border control regulations and procedures, and implement more efficient border control mechanisms. In his remarks, Kavakure said: “The world is moving ahead very fast and activities such as these, which are aimed at speeding up trade procedures, are what we must concentrate on to enable our countries to develop and ensure that our people lead better lives.”

Ntazinda ordained Bishop of Kibungo Diocese

Reverend Emmanuel Ntazinda was over the weekend consecrated as the Anglican Church Bishop of Kibungo Diocese. Ntazinda becomes the fourth bishop of the diocese, replacing Bishop Josias Sendegeya, who retired. He has been serving as a Secretary at the same diocese in charge of its development. Addressing hundreds of faithful after his consecration, the beaming clergyman pledged to work towards the general development of the province. Ntazinda said he intends to embark on developmental projects, by sensitising Christians to form cooperatives.The Archbishop of Rwanda, Onesphore Rwaje, who presided over the ceremony, thanked Bishop Ntazinda for developing the Church in Ngoma District and the Eastern Province at large. He said that he had no doubt the new bishop would emulate his predecessor by doing a great job, adding that consecration was normally done on merit.

Local leader in custody over abuse of office

A local leader in Mbazi Sector has been arrested and detained at Ngoma Police station over allegations of illegally seizing people’s property. According to local authorities, the Social Economic Development Officer and acting Executive Secretary of Rusagara Cell, Donat Nshimiyimana, was arrested last week. Huye District Mayor, Eugene Kayiranga Muzuka, told The New Times that the leader had been suspended from office prior to the arrest. Residents accused Nshimiyimana of confiscating their beans and goats in case they delayed to remit their contributions towards the community health insurance scheme (Mutuelle de Santé). An investigation carried out by police, in collaboration with local authorities, led to the suspension and arrest of the leader. Prior to his arrest, Nshimiyimana had told a local community radio that the accusations levelled against him were mere falsehoods.

Transparency Demands Firm Action On PAC Report

The anti-corruption watchdog, Transparency Rwanda, protested what it called slow progress in recovering stolen public funds as indicated in the Auditor General’s annual reports.

Marie Immaculee Ingabire, the Chairperson of Transparency Rwanda, told The New Times, that in spite of several investigations carried out, there was no evidence of how much money had been recovered.

Her comments come hot on the heels of a report by the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC), which was tabled Tuesday regarding the loss of Rwf 9.7 billion highlighted in the 2009/2010 Auditor General’s report.

Among the causes of the massive losses were lack of timely reporting on the status of public funds, mismanagement of public assets and hidden bank accounts, according to PAC chairperson, Juvenal Nkusi.