Domestic debt hits Rwf 33 billion

By Elina Jonas Ruzindana
On 16 March 2020 at 01:48

The Government of Rwanda has estimated it owes Rwf 33 billion in compensation to displaced people and property owners that gave way to the construction of such infrastructures as roads, water facilities, and electricity.

The report shows arrears for the fiscal year 2019/2020 and preceding years with creditors from Nyarugenge District topping the list, at Rwf 3.8 billion, followed by Kicukiro with Rwf 1.1 billion.

Others are Gicumbi District, Rwf760 million, Muhanga Rwf407 million, Gasabo Rwf555 million, Burera Rwf293 million, Gakenke Rwf228 million, Ngorerero Rwf190 million and Nyanza Rwf157 million.

The report comes after Parliament, the Chamber of Deputies, called on the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning to explain where the debt was due, showing that Rwf 31 billion, or 97% of the total arrears are owed by state-owned enterprises and Rwf2.7 billion by local governments.

Edda Mukabagwiza, the Deputy Speaker of Parliament had earlier observed that the issue of arrears had been discussed for some time, so they needed to hear firm measures taken.

"There are people who have not been paid of their debts since 2013, and we wonder why it takes so long to pay off," she asked.

Ningabire Yves Bernard, Director General of Planning at MINALOC, told the media that government agencies such as REG, WASAC, RTDA are the ones that have the most debt to the public due to their high-cost projects.

In December 2018, the Government indicated that it was in the process of repaying more than Rwf30 billion in domestic debt.

Ningabire explains that the government has tried to clear the arrears, with Rwf 15 billion left but that it keeps on accumulating due to expansion works in the construction of infrastructures.

“I know that Rwf 30 billion is cumulative, carried forward from 2018 but we are paying, at the same time signing other relocation agreements. For example, since then, local authorities have paid Rwf 5.9 billion while the government has released about Rwf10 billion.”

The money released was paid to about 8,417 residents.

Ningabire explained that some late payments are due to lack of proper documents by claimants such as IDs, land titles or disagreements between spouses, among other factor.

The Government of Rwanda has estimated it owes Rwf 33 billion in compensation to displaced people and property owners that gave way to construction

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