The Auditor General has discovered that a government-aided fund set up to support genocide survivors has millions of Francs in banks despite the constant reports of poor conditions in which many of the survivors live.
As of April 2019, AG Obadiah Biraro says that there is a total of Rwf 262,781,531 money he describes as “idle funds” not spent by the Genocide Survivors Assistance Fund (FARG).
“These funds were kept in the bank accounts for a period of 6
years instead of being utilized to finance income generating activities of Genocide Survivors,” says Biraro in latest report covering June 2017-June 2018 of all state expenditures.
“As such, government is not fully realizing value for money from these idle funds since they could be used to improve the living conditions of targeted beneficiaries.”
The Chronicles is publishing this information a day after the National Prosecutions Authority announced that it was investigating two FARG officials for allegedly soliciting bribes. They were reportedly “caught red-handed receiving bribes”.
It posted on Twitter on Monday: “We are investigating bribes solicited by the said FARG officials in relation to a shelter support requested by the victim where she is supposed to be a bonafide recipient of this shelter…..”
FARG was established in 1998, four years after the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi. The law setting it up mandates government to allocate 5% of annual budget to the Fund.
This financing has been used to provide support to the more than 300,000 survivors to reestablish their lives and help raise those who were still children. They have been taken care of with everything from the basics like food, shelter and education.
However, local media keeps publishing reports of some survivors living in dilapidate houses, often depending on well-wishers for food.
The Auditor General reports that he has consistently found money laying on accounts, noting: “In my previous audits of FARG, instances of idle funds meant for financing income generating activities (IGAs) projects were identified.”
During the year ended 30 June 2013, FARG had financed different Income Generating Activities (IGAs) of targeted beneficiaries. Funds amounting to Rwf 1,076,000,000 were transferred by FARG to 1,065 associations through various sectors across the country to finance income generating activities.