Some local beneficiaries of Vision Umurenge Program, VUP say that, given some of the problems encountered in this program, it becomes a burden for them instead of being a solution for their difficulties that it is supposed to solve in order to contribute to the improvement of their social living conditions.
In the research recently published by Transperancy International Rwanda (TI Rwanda) on the implementation of VUP, the surveyed population refused to bite their mouths by revealing all the shortcomings.
The poorest who are the primary beneficiaries lament the way in which the beneficiaries are chosen. “We think there is corruption because the beneficiaries should be appointed by the councils of the population,” they say. In addition, contrary to what is indicated by the VUP, it is not the beneficiaries who decide the work to be done.
The others raise the problems of the damaged properties during the works of VUP which are not compensated, the wages which are paid late as well as large bank withholdings during the payments.
In addition, the program’s developers refuse to pay the peasants for the hours they have not worked if it has rained while hindering the work. “The authorities are not only addressing the deadlines for performance contracts in the field of infrastructure, and don’t care of poor peasants” complain the beneficiaries of VUP.
The report also reveals the problem that the peasants continue to pay taxes for their land already reduced during the work of VUP while they have not even received any compensation. “When it rains when we have been working for a few hours, we refuse to pay “, indicate the beneficiaries of VUP.
Implementers of VUP question the incapacity of the beneficiaries
Beneficiaries are forced to blindly execute what the authorities ask them to do because their intellectual capacity does not allow them to be involved in everything. “You cannot ask a poor farmer to budget or monitor a construction of a road of twenty kilometers for example. They cannot do anything, “says an authority interviewed by the researchers before saying that they must also consider the delays they have given in the performance contracts for the achievement of such or such activity.
Local Authorities Recognize Failures Revealed in Research
At the presentation of the results of this research, the local authorities recognize the failures noted but assign great responsibility to the implementers in the basic instances. Bizimana Ndababonye is in charge of the unit of social welfare and population development in Gakenke district. He does not deny that VUP’s primary motive is to promote the social life of the beneficiary, but he attributes the failure to the local authorities who are closely following the in practice of VUP. “What we are aiming at first in the VUP is not the accomplishment of the kilometers and kilometers of roads built according to performance contracts, but rather the improvement of the social conditions of the poorest peasants,” he said.
TI Rwanda proposes revision of the program
Ingabire M Immaculée who head TI Rwanda asks MINALOC and LODA to review the policy so that it can contribute to the promotion and development of the wellbeing of beneficiaries as planned at its launch.