The parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) accuses the current leadership of Rwanda Energy Group and Water and Sanitation Corporation (REG) and WASAC for shielding former officials of Ewasa over mismanagement of government funds.
“We asked you to come to this hearing with the former officials of Ewasa. Why didn’t you inform them and come with them? Hon Juvenal Nkusi the PAC Chairperson asked during a hearing Friday for both institutions on the 2015 Auditor General’s report.
Both REG and WASAC officials could not explain exactly why this was not done even when the committee chairman and his deputy insisted on finding out if they attempted to invite the former officials to the inquiry.
”Did you inform them or even contacted them to this inquiry?” Nkusi asked again.
“We didn’t inform them because we assumed we have no authority to do so. But we know them and even the OAG also does. It may require the Judiciary to summon them,” Jean Bosco Mugiraneza the CEO of REG said in a low tone.
PAC has given both REG and WASAC thirty days to prove how the two bodies have managed to recover loses made through managerial negligence.
The order comes after parliament Public Accounts Committee reviewed the 2015 Auditor General’s report which indicates that Water section made a loss of Rwf4billion through unbilled water receipts and over Rwf908millions in unrecovered debts due to negligence and lack of responsible accounting.
“We want to have a clear report by October 30th 2016, showing where this money is and how it has been accounted for. Hon. Juvenal Nkusi said after the Auditor General, Obadiah Biraro who was present at the hearing, accused the two bodies for not having accountable management procedures which is reason why the auditor couldn’t verify why the above funds were not posted in the accounts on time.
The two bodies were formerly under the same umbrella organization- Energy, Water and Sanitation Authority (EWSA) before government spilt them into two in July 2014.
The PAC review also shows that both bodies have not been able to reclaim millions from deactivated 1000 debtors who include big companies and embassies like the US embassy in Kigali ever since the separation of the two organs.
Some of the paid cheques from clients however didn’t reach the destined accounts causing major losses in accumulated bank deposit interest and delayed payoff with some of the major bank transactions with banks like Bank of Kigali.
For example clients paid water and electricity bills to the body and it took about 564 days for the cheques to be deposited on the institutions accounts.
It is believed that the money was used by the accounting teams for other purposes causing a loss of about one billion with an average of Rwf2million in profits which the funds would have made if deposited on time.
All this means that most of the money was paid but because of lack of cash book in the institutions and cash recording none of the officials could satisfy the exact position of the money and thus a possibility of misuse of funds.
This, according to the OAG was caused by lack verification of payments done and efficiency in the institution.
“We do task based auditing. Ask them if they have a management accountant in any of the institutions. The OAG Biraro said.
The CEO of WASAC, James Sano said the issues in both institutions was as a result of changing the systems and separation of accounts in the process of transition.
“We have a problem of dirt carried over in the transition of both organs. We are not sure we will come out 100 percent clean but sure we will present the reports, Sano said.
Sano also explained that the deactivated clients who have not been able to pay are fewer now and the mismatch in unrecovered debts could have been caused by databases from the old system.
The OAG said that by October 30th his office will have worked to produce another audit report that will clear the institutions or pin them for negligence of duty.
“There is lack of resilience and irresponsible accounting here but what we are sure of is to be able to say yes we can,” Biraro said.