June 19, 2020

Government Sets Separate Account for COVID-19 Expenditures

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A separate bank account has been set up by government, where all money being mobilized to deal with impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, is deposited.

All government expenditures have previously been handled through a single account system managed by the Finance Ministry. It is from this system that government pays suppliers, and all expenses.

Government is mobilising nearly $500m from different sources including grants and concessional loans to cover the economic hole created by the lockdown implemented beginning in mid March. Already, loan cash has come from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank and bilateral donors.

Inside the country, private companies have also offered different amounts of money, in addition to food and sanitary supplies meant for the most affected.

Finance and Economic Planning Minister Dr Uzziel Ndagijimana will on Monday deliver the final 2020-2021 budget estimates to the country in Parliament. The country will spend nearly Rwf 3.25trillion.

This second budget reading, follows that of May 21. According to revised figures from engagement with lawmakers, the Finance Minister has reallocated Rwf 187.4 billion which was removed from different areas in what the minister says is “innovative delivery mechanisms using fewer resources”.

These savings, Dr Ndagijimana will tell lawmakers, were reallocated to other strategic interventions with gaps mainly under development budget of: Agriculture, Education, Health, Disaster management, infrastructure and expropriation, cyber security, salaries and wages for security agencies and rehabilitation and extension of ongoing districts water supply networks.

Government has told the IMF through the annual “Letter of Intent” published this Thursday that no single Franc from COVID-19 “contributions” will be wasted.

Information on all awarded government contracts—including the name of competing companies, each initial bid, the company name and price of the winning bid, and the total contract amount—is going to be publicly available from the government’s e-Procurement system.

Anyone can access this information by logging on to the UMUCYO system via www.umucyo.gov.rw.

“Moreover, pandemic-related expenditures, along with other government spending, will be audited by the Office of the Auditor General whose independence is granted by the constitution and the outcome made publicly available,” says government to its generous backers.

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