24 May 2018

Rwanda: MPs Visit Stalled Government Projects

Members of the parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) are on ground in different parts of the country for a week-long fact-finding mission to assess what went wrong in the implementation of several government projects that have either stalled or failed.

The MPs will visit projects that were described in the Auditor General's report for the fiscal year 2016/17 as delayed, abandoned, as well as instances where project assets were found idle.

The trip aims to collect more information as the MPs continue to scrutinise the AG's report ahead of public hearings that the committee will conduct next month to question those who are responsible for project failures.

PAC deputy chairperson Théoneste Karenzi told The New Times on Wednesday that the field trip will prepare members of the committee to ask informed questions during the forthcoming public hearings in which leaders of about 20 institutions, mostly parastatals and districts, will be questioned.

"After receiving the AG's report, we analyse it and decide where we need further information. It's a fact-finding mission in order to get more information about the issues raised, so we can follow up on them during public hearings," he said.

The AG's report for the 2016/17 fiscal year, which was published last month, showed that cases of delayed and abandoned contracts were still persisting in public entities, with the report audits indicating that a total of 109 contracts, worth over Rwf206 billion, had been stalled.

The majority of the stalled projects were noted in districts (70 contracts), Government Business Enterprises (GBEs) and Boards (38 contracts), independent sector government projects (23 contracts), as well as ministries and other central Government entities (8 contracts).

Regarding Government's idle assets, the AG's audits identified 137 cases of idle assets worth over Rwf23 billion, including school computers, medical equipment, and water and electricity supply materials among others.

Projects to be visited by the MPs include those found in Western Province's Rusizi District such as Gishomba Peat Power Plant - which hasn't been functional despite having cost a lot of money to build -, Kintobo health centre and four in one houses at Murangi site that are not in use, as well as part of Nyarushishi Genocide memorial that crumbled due to poor construction.

In Huye District, they will visit Kadahokwa dam that has capacity to store 575,529 cubic metres of water but remains dry, some delayed and crumbling feeder roads, as well as buildings at the University of Rwanda's Huye campus that aren't in use.

In Muhanga District, the MPs will visit part of Ryakiyange-Kanyamizo road whose construction works were abandoned by a contractor and the case of 100 computers at Groupe Scolaire Mushishiro that are not in use.

In Rubavu District, a number of delayed projects will be visited, including Gisenyi market, Rubavu health centre, Kabumba and Buhuru modern markets, and a model village in Bahimba area.

In Kicukiro, a lot of medical equipment are reportedly idle at Masaka hospital, construction of Kigarama market in Gikondo sector has delayed, while Gahanga sector headquarter was poorly built and is crumbling.

Several unfinished or poorly implemented projects will also be visited in Musanze, Burera, Ngororero, Nyagatare, Gicumbi, Gatsibo, Kirehe, Gasabo, and Nyarugenge districts.


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