Gatsibo: 15 Girinka cows embezzled in a single village

Local leaders in Gatsibo District are under increasing pressure over allegations to embezzle of 15 cows reserved for vulnerable families through ‘Girinka’ program in three last years.

This occurs in Agasenga village, Bushobora cell in Remera Sector. Sources reveal that, when it was time to share a cow to another vulnerable family, leaders used to sell the cow instead of giving it to the destined families. Very often, they should even take the cow while the owner is not aware.

Residents point the ‘Ubudehe’ chief in the village who took the cow and sold it without giving it to another family in vain. He found out later that they sold it.

For the old woman given the name of Speciose Mukamana says those who are in charge came and sold her cow at Rwf 70 000 but they gave her only Rwf 20 000, she really has no idea of where the remaining money has gone.

She says, “ they gave me a cow and I took care of it but it could not give birth, then the chief of Ubudehe came and told me that he was told to sell it. He sold it and gave me Rwf 20 000 and pocketed the rest while I was expecting him to sell it and buy me another”.

Complicity of Village Chief and Cell Executive Secretary

The Ubudehe Committee members reported to the Sector administration 15 missing cows, but in vain. Instead, it put them into trouble where their chief was telling them that their attempt to report him would end up failing, unless he take the whole money in his own pocket, he shares with hierarchy.

Eric Mukunzi (another given name), member of  ‘Ubudehe’ Committee,  told that, “leaders are partners in crimes when it comes to jointly planning how they would embezzle cows of Ubudehe programme. The born cows are not transferred to other families but embezzled through tough commitment between the cell executive secretary, the chief of village and the Ubudehe Chief”.

Jean Claude Ndayisenga, former Remera Sector Executive Secretary, now transferred to head Gasange Sector, to whom was addressed complaining list of embezzled for a follow up, said he does not remember the case.

Some of leaders said to be linked with this case refused to talk to the journalist and told him to talk to the sector Executive Secretary for more information. Marceline Mukamana, Remera’s new Executive Secretary, says she heard of this case and is trying to go deeper.

She said, “We already knew this case and we are in a follow up process where we already held a community meeting to find some information about it, while we are also collecting more information”

Theogene Manzi, the Vice-Mayor of Gatsibo District in charge of Finance and Economic Development says he had no idea about this issue, except common mistakes committed by resigned cell Executive Secretaries on the Girinka cow’s management, but promised direct and immediate investigation on the issue.

He said “ there were some mistakes committed by Cell executive secretaries who embezzled the cows where some were forced to resign while others were ordered to pay back the cows sold. I am surely going to make a follow-up on this case too »

President Paul Kagame has been heard, through his different speeches, slamming the local leaders who target beneficiaries’ support, especially vulnerable families, and make a bold focus on such mistakes they commit during Girinka Program and Vision Umurenge Programme (VUP)

He said « I always find it out when people would say they are poor while the cows they deserved remain in the hands of leaders. How will you deal with such a sin of embezzling funds of homeless people ? And you say you go to church. But when you get out of it you start to take away poor’s properties ! that’s totally a lie [that you pray] »

Fred Irakoze

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