President Paul Kagame today presided over the swearing-in ceremony of 80 new members of parliament who will take office in the 4th house for the next five years. The new parliament, however, starts with a harder task at hand.
Kagame said that the new parliament has entry of new parties, new blood and energy and that is one reason why there must be change in monitoring, accountability of national development programs starting with the auditor general’s reports.
The president’s remarks come at a time when only a handful of leaders have been prosecuted for mismanagement of government funds which has left billions of tax payers’ money unaccounted for according to the Auditor General’s report.
“If you are a leader at a certain level, given all you need to perform and the Auditor General shows us that only 25% was used and the rest uncounted for. First, we will ask you to explain where 75% went. Not just telling us I don’t know. We shall search everywhere and even in your property to make sure we recover the uncounted for wealth,” Kagame said.
“In the process, we shall keep you somewhere,” he added.
In 2017-2018, the National Public Prosecution Authority (NPPA) registered 715 files related to economic and financial crimes, of which 481 cases were filed with courts involving 511 accused persons for the public funds totaling Rwf745, 630,709.
So far, NPPA has put special attention to different government efforts and initiatives aimed at improving the welfare of poor citizens.
Kagame said leaders who are faulted in the Auditor General’s report will not walk away free and asked the parliament to take this as a task that should be put to all leaders at all levels.
He said that Rwanda’s problems will be solved by Rwandans in the Rwandan way and even when there are issues to be handled the country will continue looking for homegrown solutions as it did with justice after the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi.
“I am not just asking, even if it is a good culture to ask; but I will personally follow this up to find out if what I asked is being implemented and personally. This will be followed up with more seriousness than before,” Kagame said.
In the fourth parliament, women occupy 61% of the 80 seats.
The Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) Inkotanyi and its coalition won the general elections of parliament with 75%.
Other political parties that have been in the previous parliament including Social Democratic Party (PSD) and the Liberal Party (PL) also secured seats.
New entrants at the parliament are PS Imberakuri and Democratic Green Party of Rwanda (DGPR) with 2 seats respectively.