BY IGNATIUS SSUUNA
& GODWIN AGABA
THE office of Prosecutor General yesterday interrogated the Secretary Generals (SGs) of the ministries of Education; and Public Services, Skills Development and Labour in connection with tender irregularities raised in the 2005 Auditor General’s report.
The duo, Narcisse Musabeyezu (Education) and Marceline Mukarurangwe appeared before Deputy Prosecutor General Alphonse Hitiyaremye and were quizzed why tenders in their respective ministries were awarded without following normal tendering procedures.
The SGs are the chief accountants in their respective ministries and have the last say on giving out tenders.
“Indeed we explained our case. He has told us to explain in writing about how we shall recover the funds,” Mukarurangwa said yesterday.
She said the Public Service ministry (Mifotra) was asked to explain why a company, Papeterie La Colombe, was given over Frw 1.8 million to buy official equipment but later disappeared with the money without delivering the logistics.
“The tender was given out in 2004 but we are trying to find out the officials that okayed the advance payment at a time the company had not yet delivered office equipment,” Mukarurangwa said.
However, Musabeyezu said the Office of the Prosecutor General served his ministry with the summons unnecessarily. He said it was Rwanda National Examination Council (RNEC) that was implicated by the AG report in tender irregularities and not the Education ministry.
“Yes, RNEC is under Education but it’s an autonomous body. It is responsible for its own activities and its officials should be answerable to the issues raised in the report, not the ministry. I told the Office of Prosecutor General that they should have written to RNEC not us,” Musabeyezu explained yesterday.
He also disclosed that the ministry has already written to RNEC asking them to account for the money spent during the period indicated in the Auditor General’s report.
The summonses were issued last Wednesday after the Secretary Generals allegedly failed to turn up to defend their ministries.
Also interrogated yesterday were Kigali City Executive Secretary Pierre Clever Uwimana and the directors of National Program against Malaria (PNLP) and Rwamagana Hospital.
Kigali City Vice Mayor in charge of Finance Dieudonne Rumaragishyika said Uwimana represented the city because he is more familiar with what happened in the previous administrative units. The country saw massive territorial and administrative reforms in January, 2006.
The Auditor General, Evelyn Kamagaju, revealed in her 2005 report that at least Frw3.6 billion was unaccounted for during that year.
Early this year, the Prosecutor General’s office wrote to the aforementioned secretary generals and directors of 46 institutions to explain the alleged loss of public funds indicated in the AG report.
The Prosecutor General is currently investigating 22 leaders of public institutions for alleged irregular tendering procedures, causing the country to lose millions of funds.
Some of the leaders under probe are from the ministries of Infrastructure; Youth, Culture and Sports; Gender and Family Promotion; Internal Security; Lands and Environment; and Foreign Affairs. Also under probe are OCIR THE (tea authority), Kigali Institute of Science and Technology and Kicukiro Secondary School.
Already cases of 12 institutions have been forwarded to the courts of law over abuse of taxpayers’ money. They include the National Tourism and Parks Office (ORTPN), ETO (Technical School) Muhima and National Commission of Refugees (CNER).
They are all accused of causing financial loss to the government by circumventing normal tendering practices.