Top officials of the Fund for the Support of Genocide Survivors (FARG) were on Thursday tasked by lawmakers to explain errors that were noticed in coordination and implementation of their directives that cost taxpayers millions of francs.
Appearing before the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC), FARG officials were presented with over 11 mismatching errors cited in 2012/2013 Auditor General’s report.
They included; poor coordination and monitoring of the Fund’s projects, unfinished/abandoned houses for the survivors of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, and lack of accountability reports on health funds, among others.
“Your responsibility is to monitor and coordinate FARG projects intended to support Genocide survivors. However, it seems you do not bother to follow up on the implementation and monitoring of grassroots projects,” said Théoneste Karenzi, Deputy Chairperson of PAC.
“In your instructions, it seems you do not have quarterly reports from districts or follow up of these projects for Genocide survivors doesnot simply exist,” Karenzi said.
According to the AG’s report, FARG’s 2012/2013 budget framework had intended to renovate 3,306 housing units for Genocide survivors but only 350 were renovated countrywide.
“This is about 11 per cent of the work done yet survivors need these facilities. Some of the houses were either poorly constructed, or contractors abandoned housing projects before completion,” Karenzi added.
The report indicates that 4,000 survivors from seven districts did not get direct support from the Fund worth Rwf364 million.
And, survivor’s income generating projects worth Rwf8 million were never executed at the sector levels, especially in Rulindo and Ngoma districts.
In Huye District, End Construction Company contracted to build 30 houses for Genocide survivors, worth Rwf126 million, put up 25 shoddy houses and FARG went on to pay a certain percentage of the contraction charges.
“You should be responsible. Why does this happen? Where is the follow up?” Karenzi asked.
Juvenal Nkusi, PAC Chairperson, wondered why the projects were not being implemented yet the government put in place such projects to support survivors.
“Of the eleven errors indicated in the AG’s report, we want to know the steps you have taken to correct them,” he said.
Anastase Nabahire, vice-chairperson of FARG board said more needed to be done.
He attributed projects failure at the grassroots to inadequate staff to follow up on the project implementation.
“This is a new management team and problems that existed are being worked on. We have carried out a number of reforms, including staff restructuring. Shortage of staff had affected field interventions and coordination,” Nabahire said.
Theophile Ruberangeyo, the Director General of FARG, said they had come up with a database, which has categorised survivors in their respective intervention capacities to ease facilitation mechanism.
“We have the responsibility of funding survivors’ projects and do the follow up. We have been working closely with the Ministry of Local Government to coordinate our activities. We commit to attain clean audit in the next Auditor General’s report,” Ruberangeyo said.
FARG was established in 1998 by government to coordinate the Genocide survivors’ projects and welfare. It is mandated to monitor their education, healthcare, direct support, and income-generating activities, among others.
The Fund was allocated Rwf22.8 billion in the 2012/2013 Financial Year, of which, 70 per cent of it was allocated to education, according to Ruberangeyo.
The New Times Rwanda
Categories: Survivors welfare