May 16, 2020

Over Rwf 1.8bn Funding Meant for Genocide Survivors Still in District Bank Accounts

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This house belongs to a genocide survivor located in Rugarama village, Mugobore cell of Simbi sector, Huye district. There are hundreds of other houses in other regions with worse conditions

Twenty-four (24) districts are keeping hundreds of millions of taxpayers money on their accounts as target beneficiaries, genocide survivors, languish in poverty.

An extensive report of the Auditor General for 2018-2019, shows that a total of Rwf 1,803,042,531 is on the bank accounts of districts. Similar amounts remain unused for nearly every year.

Every year, government earmarks funding to all the 30 districts of the country for planned activities aimed to improve the welfare of Genocide survivors. The funding is for provision of things like housing and income generating activities.

In the 2017-18 financial year, the districts had unused funding totalling Rwf 2,672,214,289.

“Unused funds may be an indicator of slow implementation of activities by respective Districts. The funds may be at risk of misuse as they remain idle,” says Auditor General Obadiah R. Biraro, in the report submitted to Parliament on Friday.

The Genocide Survivors Assistance Fund (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.

Rusizi district has over Rwf 309m unused, Nyamasheke district has over Rwf 243m, while Kamonyi district is keeping more than Rwf 214m. Other districts also have funds in the tens of millions.

In the same Auditor General report, he found that FARG had paid school fees for 455 inexistent secondary students referred to as “ghost students”. 25 schools benefited to the tune of Rwf 80,592,087.

Government launched investigation through RIB, and the suspect schools were required to refund the money. However, the Auditor General tells Parliament in his report that there was “no evidence” FARG management had done anything to recover the taxpayers money.

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