Senators and district mayors among other government officials have called for heavy punishments for leaders found guilty of misappropriating public resources meant to support service delivery.
The call has been made today during discussions organized by the senate with the aim of sharing ideas of bolstering government programs aimed eradicating poverty among Rwandans.
The senate president, Bernard Makuza reminded participants that the programs meant to support the poor have contributed a lot to the eradication of poverty and the many mistakes realized in implementation process should be rectified.
Makuza based his advice on the Auditor General’s reports where almost Rwf 557 million was misappropriated in Girinka Munyarwanda program, Rwf 454 million misappropriated from Ubudehe program while Rwf 269 million misallocated in Vision Umurenge Program (VUP).
The Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Gatete Claver not that huge resources meant for the said programs have been misappropriated to the extent that it was difficult for the government to fill the gap.
“We have empirical evidence to this effect. We have followed up the case of Mutuelle de santé and witnessed the critical situation under which the funds were extremely misallocated. Through such observations, we were obliged to stop some programs of the Ministry of Health and MINALOC to recover over Rwf 13.6 billion in the mid-year for money that came from contributions of citizens who had no involvement in misallocations,” he said.
The Minister of Local Government, Francis Kaboneka has considered such local leaders as thieves that should be punished by law.
Gasana Richard, the mayor of Gatsibo district said that there should be zero tolerance for such leaders misallocating public funds. “The more we sit to discuss how our citizens may overcome poverty, the more others are discussing how to misallocate funds. As far as I am concerned, local leaders misallocating funds and found guilty are not being pursued in the best ways,” he said.
Gasana said that some countries wiped out corruption through heavy punishments. “When a person stole a sack of cement in South Korea, he would be hanged.That is why Korea developed rapidly,” he said.
“Let’s punish offenders and administer heavy punishments for such culprits, ,” he said.
Minister Kaboneka said that the government has taken stringent measures including regular commissioning of audit teams to scrutinize implementation of programs aimed at eradicating poverty.
“Currently, a person found guilty is pursued under law. Many of them have been identified, some have been jailed, stopped from duties or dismissed,” he said.