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Parliament to Summon Four Ministers Over Gaps in Gov’t Policies

by Daniel Sabiiti
3:26 pm

Among others, the Ministry of infrastructure will explain plans to control rain water and drainage. Erosion and floods have been incurring heavy loss to the country, like in this photo that was taken in Kigali early this month

Rwanda Parliament has announced plan to summon four cabinet ministers to explain shortfalls in implementation of government programs that intend to implement major community development programmes across the country.

The decision was taken by the parliament after a field report conducted between December 2019 and January 2020.

The ministers of Infrastructure, Environment, Finance and economic planning will respond to issues such as access to roads, bridges, electricity, and water curbing malnutrition, unpaid debts, among others.

The Parliament heard that despite the fact that the ministry of infrastructure shows an increase in electricity access, there are discrepancies in district figures.

The Ministry will thus have to explain the mismatch between its figures and districts’.

“For example, in rural electrification in Nyaruguru district, the ministry of infrastructure showed that electricity access stands at 74% but the district showed 84.7%,” said Edda Mukabagwiza, the Vice Speaker of parliament.

“In Ngorerero district, the ministry showed that access stands at 34.9% while the district indicated 38.3%.”

In the Eastern Province, Gatsibo district, figures of the Ministry indicate that the electricity access stands at 32.3% against 43.6% reported by the district and these are a few cases among many.

Mukabagwiza said that though electricity access increased from 51% in June 2019 to 67% end of 2019, there is still a long way to go to reach the universal coverage by 2024.

“There is still a long way to go if we look at the projections to 2024,” She said.

Mukabagwiza informed parliament that the Ministry of Infrastructure will also respond to why projections of 100% access to clean water is still a problem in some areas like Bugesera, Nyagatare and Gatsibo districts.

Infrastructure ministry is also lined to respond to issues such as poorly maintained cobblestone roads in Kigali, its plans to control rain water and drainages, damaged bridges in districts, and roadmap for refurbishing old water channels and electricity lines.

The second to be summoned will be the minister of environment, to explain the strategy on managing natural water resources to benefit citizens and management of government owned forests.

The Ministry of finance and economic planning will explain why citizens are not legally compensated during expropriation and plans to pay the expropriation arrears accumulated over the years.

Finance ministry will also have to show why Rwanda Social Security Board (RSSB) has not paid outstanding insurance arrears to hospitals, an issue which has been around since 2015- when the management of community insurance programs (mutuelle de santé) was transferred to RSSB.

In 2019, Minister of finance, Dr. Uzziel Ndagijimana said that more than Rwf13billion has been paid off from the previous arrears which date up to 2015 and there was no problem in paying the remaining arrears.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of education will also be summoned at a later stage after its reports which involves several issues including idle laptops and lack of computer labs.

The parliamentary committee for social affairs said that they are still preparing a report on the educations sector alone, with more field visits still underway.

As part of the new administrative reforms, all the above ministers will appear in the respective parliamentary committee instead of the previous process of appearing in a plenary hearing.

Parliament also made recommendations for ministries of Gender and family Promotion, Justice and Local government.

They were tasked to find immediate solutions to the increasing cases of teenage pregnancies which stand at 7%, to reduce the malnutrition rate among children  which stands at 38% and to find solutions to the increasing cases of family conflicts.

Other ministries also got recommendations to address pending issues and unfinished business that were assessed during the filed visit.

MPs recommended the Prime Minister’s (PM) office, to submit to the social affairs committee a report on how the Ministries plan to implement the recommendations. The report should be submitted in three months’ time.

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