Local leaders planning to resign from their duties after committing administrative offenses will not walk away with just submitting a resignation letter anymore as it has been the case this year.
The minister of local government, Francis Kaboneka says such leaders will now be followed up by the long arm of the law and answer charges on crimes which they may have committed while in office.
This year has seen a wave of local leaders (especially at the sector and cell levels) resigning from their posts for personal reasons, mostly after committing administrative errors and a few of them have been prosecuted.
For example, more than 270 officials at various local levels across the country have been implicated and arrested for mismanaging money for the poor under the Vision 2020 Umurenge Program – VUP, an integrated social development program including direct support, small projects funding and paid public works, while a few others have been sentenced to jail.
In Kamonyi district alone, 10 local leaders submitted their resignation letters in November, and none was pursued even when some of them resigned for physically abusing citizens and taking bribes.
“To resign from their jobs will not erase the criminal offenses. They will be pursued by the law if they commit crimes while in office,” Minister Kaboneka told local leaders while closing a retreat of village leaders in Kamonyi last week.
Government lost Rwf 99 million in lawsuits filed against it between 2015-2016 representing 24% of the 515 cases filed in that period with most of them related to violation of labour laws.
The parliament is currently pushing for legal measures to be taken upon government officials who scoundrel and misuse tax payer’s money – an issue that was raised in the Office of the Auditor General’s (OAG) report this year.
Evode Uwizeyimana, the State Minister in charge of constitutional and legal affairs, said last week the government will not continue to incur losses over criminal offenses committed by civil servants.
“We are not going to allow this to happen for government to pay for mistakes committed by its civil servants. If need be, we will confiscate assets of anyone who is convicted for administrative crimes so that they pay back,” Uwizeyimana said.