11 June 2010

Rwanda: Report Pins Frank Habineza On Sham NGO Racket

The Founder of the Yet-to be registered Green Party of Rwanda, Frank Habineza, has been named in a report by the Ministry of Local Government as one of the people behind briefcase Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO's) that fleece donors.

The report released this week, also names many other NGOs that operate in the country illegally, or are mere "briefcase" organisations.

According to the report, Frank Habineza, oversees five organisations- some of them illegal- that claim to carry developmental and environmental conservation activities but instead divert the funds solicited from donors to political activities.

The report names Rwanda NGOs Forum on Water, Sanitation and Environment (RWASEF) which, it said, is not fully registered after it changed its minutes.

It reveals that some of the organisations under RWASEF are operating illegally and have now turned to political activities under the so-called Green Party.

The report indicates that one of the heads of RWASEF, Aphrodis Kagaba, admitted that the funds were mismanaged.

Georges Bagabo and Elie Mugenzi of Rwanda Green Foundation (RGF) are suspected of embezzling funds, especially money they received from ENDP/GEF.

The report also accuses them of falsely claiming that government projects, such as the tree planting project in Bugesera and conservation efforts around Lake Ihema, were carried out by them, in order to deceitfully solicit funds from donors. Bagabo helped Habineza set up the Green Party.

Rwanda Green Society, also created by Habineza and headed by Alexis Mugisha, operates under the same roof as Green Party.

The report claims that Habineza uses this NGO to tarnish the image of the country.

Other NGOs include Health Development Initiative which has not accounted for the funds it received, as well as Nile Basin Discourse Forum (NBDF) which is registered as a local NGO but has its headquarters in Entebbe, Uganda, which is against the law that governs local NGOs

Rwanda Environmental Conservation Organization (RECOR) another brainchild of Frank Habineza, has not submitted a report of activities to the Ministry of Local Government, and allegedly divertes funds to political activities.

The organisation is said to have received millions of francs from Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) but there is nothing to show how the money was used.

When contacted for comment, Habineza said he had not seen the report and was hostile to this reporter.

"I have not seen the report, when I see it, I will comment," Habineza

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