The local government is working hands in hands with civil society over the government’s financial properties. The prosecutor in charge of crimes against the country’s economy says some cases have been filed to the courts for trial. They involve 1126 suspects who are allegedly behind Rwfs 40 billion fraud.
The move was initiated basing on the assessment done by Transparency International Rwanda on the report form the Auditor General which shows how government Institutions have spent their 2014-15 budget.
The assessment shows that the government has recovered over Rwfs 1.6 billion since the fiscal year 2010/2011, corresponding to 4.6 per cent of the forged money.
Although some efforts have been made to investigate those who mismanage the country’s money, there is still a lot to be done to both recover the remaining money and make sure mismanagement issues are addressed permanently.
Over 840 have been found guilty
Prosecutor Jean Marie Vianney Nyirurugo says at least 841 have been completely found guilty of forging the government money.
He said, “Cases have been ordered to be tried, to the point where the Ministry of Justice can introduce ways of recovering that money at all costs. They are 643 cases involving 841 suspects who just been found guilty of the allegations. The court ordered them to pay back nearly a total of Rwf 3. 4 billion,”
Nyirurugo underlines that among cases filed to the judiciary include those who have allegedly forged for the vulnerable people through the poverty-free community drive.
In the last three years, 107 suspects are in courts over forging VUP funds, Rwfs 500 million of medical insurance (Mituel de Sante), Girinka Rwfs 200million and Ubudehe. The other money would be spent on fertilizers Rwfs 200 million, not forgetting Umurenge SACCO money.
They are allegedly accused to have forged Rwf billion and 549 million.
TI-Rw says it’s time that people involved in mismanaging the government’s funds can be charged by the law. Also to set up new ways to recover the money form those who have no means to pay back the lost money.
Marie Immaculee Ingabire, TI-Rw Chairperson, said, “we can think about setting up some physical public interest activities rather than imprisonment for those who have no means to pay back the lost money, who can’t it be done?”
She adds that the justice should not release those who are held over the government money forgery as unrepentant. “We cannot agree that one can be considered unrepentant over the money s/he was allegedly suspected to have forged, and release him/her without tracing where the forged money lies, “she said.
Laws, a big challenge
Concerning the laws, different public institutions and the civil society say that there are still gaps between the laws, which can result to the ongoing government money mismanagement.
Ingabire claims that, when an employee is alleged to either be linked with corruption or commits other mistakes, the law states that he should be given warning letters thrice. Ingabire and doubts whether waiting sacking him/her, corruption goes on and puts the institution s/he into loss.
Agreeing with Ingabire’s point, Nyirurugo thinks the law should change, the crime ‘should be spelled to ‘crimes’. He illustrates cases where no law charging losses over not well studied projects.
Furthermore, some laws and rules are not clear on charges against a certain allegation without corresponding charges to one involved.
So far, the government has blocked bank accounts of 23 suspected of mismanaging and forging its money, while there are also 166 private properties which have been held during recovery.