At least Rwf 70 million were recovered by the Ministry’s finance long time after being embezzled, after the Minister’s successful involvement in the recovery process.
The recovered money was embezzled in a public institution which under the Ministry that the Auditor General, Obadiah Biraro, avoided to identify speaking at Sunday’s ‘Isesenguramakuru’ talk show aired on RBA
As he was closer to signing to the General audit documents at the unidentified institution, the Minister told him [Biraro] that he was going to do his best to recover the embezzled money before he signs the documents. He successfully did it as a result.
Reference to this example, Biraro insists that if more authorities do the same as the Minister did, it would pay off to avoid the Government money being embezzled.
He said, “He stood up and told them that he wants them [financial documents] and they rejected it [financial report]. It is an example one can give to call for higher authorities’ involvement to address it”
Pressure on some suspicious institutions
During the last 16 years the auditing process of the government money goes with what has been approved during the budget inquiry, focusing on assessment and advice delivery to the Ministries, which has obviously been a successful approach, but admits that there is still a gap at some cases, especially in institutions which are somehow private that he always accuses of mismanagement of the government money.
They include Rwanda Governance Board (RGB), Rwanda Biomedical Center (RBC), Energy Utility Corporation Limited (EUCL), Water Sanitation Corporation (WASAC), Rwanda Utility and Regulatory Authority (RURA) and University of Rwanda (UR)
He said, “The last 16 years were shaped by the auditing focusing on Ministries which we considered responsible for Ministry-attached institutions. But we still have a challenge of some institutions which are guaranteed a budget but are confusingly private that they do not have who to report to nor do they have an auditor while over 60 per cent of their budget is provided by the government”
Biraro says such institutions’ financial reports always have mistaken due to financial mismanagement.
“We need to put a lot of efforts here, especial on public enterprises. Consistent follow ups should be done on these institutions. Ministries like MINEDUC have improved, but if the recently detached institutions are not attentively supervised, the loss will keep growing,” he said.
He revealed that, this year, some have been called again to explain the financial mismanagement recently reported.Marie Immaculee Ingabire, the Chairperson of Transparency International Rwanda has said this is an issue that they are tired of hearing, suggesting that media debate would instead be how good they have improved because they have ignored what might be improved.
He gave an example of RAB which takes expensive maize grains reserved for seed multiplication and distributes it to needy people for consumption. In this case, she wondered whether food shortage is something which comes by accident that they opt to use seeds as support.
She adds that she doubts RAB’s services given the budget it is given and the trainings it provides to its agronomists but can’t see the results from the trainings in guiding farmers for better and increased harvest to fight hunger and get the market for their harvest. And instead the seeds remain rotten in its store.
She claims, “May be the officer in charge sleeps and wakes up in the morning to for a fun talk with people”
In the report the auditor General recently presented and submitted to the Parliament this month, Biraro reflected to different mistakes committed in the management of these institutions’ money.
In days ahead, those institutions bosses are expected present more clarifications and explanations to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on the management mistakes spoken out in their institutions while presenting how the budget money was spent in the 2015-16 monetary budget.
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