The minister of local government on Tuesday failed to convince members of parliament as to why there are irregularities in hiring civil servants in the city of Kigali and other districts.
Minister JMV Gatabazi was on November 2, 2021 summoned by the parliament to verbally explain why reports from the labor service commission and parliament social affairs committee indicated several malpractices that breach the labor laws and regulations in place.
For instance the reports (with details names of persons involved) showed that in evidence collected from five sample districts civil servants were placed in vacancies illegally, applicants who passed job examination denied access to their answer sheets and officials manipulating final results in favor of some candidates of their choice or favor.
Most of these incidences were recorded in the districts of Kicukiro, Kayonza, Nyamagabe, Karongi, Kirehe according to findings from the Public Service and Labor commission.
For instance in Kicukiro district an official was reported to allegedly have intentionally released job examination questions to an applicant ahead of the scheduled written test exams and the culprits in the case were given a shaming (rebuking) letter.
While in Kayonza districts officials were reported to have allegedly intentionally altered applicants results giving high marks to the ones who failed the written exams to allow them occupy contested job vacancies.
All this was done, according to the report, with consent of officials of Rwanda Association of Local Government Authorities (RALGA) and district officials.
For instance the report showed that some RALGA and district officials in charge of recruitment were fired. These include directors, a district executive secretary (ES) and several staff in this cluster of responsibility.
This, according to the parliament committee, has been going on for the last three financial years and these cases have been recurrent and increasingly done by district and city of Kigali officials.
The parliament asked- why there is a practice of illegally placing staff in vacancies and others denied their rights.
“This is why we want the minister to explain why the staff are posted without ensuring all requirements are abided by according to law,” the committee chairperson Odette Uwamariya said.
Secondly, Uwamariya said, culprits have not been held accountable for these issues. She further raised the issue there is failure to implement recommendations of the labor commission of which th districts and the city of Kigali to address the concerns before they present their annual report.
“We want to know the way forward for the ministry to resolve these matters once for all,” she said.
In response and after an extensive discourse back and forth, Gatabazi said that it is true these practices have happened but it is in the interests of the ministry to resolve the matters and have qualified civil servants placed in vacancies.
Gatabazi agreed on incidences such as in Kayonza where four applicants who were unjust-fully denied employment due to change of their job exam results and altering the placements.
He however stated that persons involved were handed to Rwanda Investigation Bureau (RIB) for investigation and prosecution and some were fired.
In Kicukiro, Gatabazi said whenever these incidences happened the recruitment was nullified and positions are still open.
Gatabazi also informed the lawmakers that through the ongoing implementation of e-recruitment system all these issues could be resolved soon.
For instance, he said, the recent job placements for 10,000 teaching applicants went smoothly with no glitch.
However MPs raised concerns on how it is possible that some officials involved in these cases have not been held accountable.
“The point is why is it that in Kayonza the culprits were prosecuted and yet others in Kicukiro were not but condemned in writing, yet they are all equal in front of the law and the mistake committed is the same,” MP Pie Nizeyimana said.
“We want Minaloc to give us a report on action taken in each case especially that youth are now growing with concept that jobs are offered with favoritism,” he added.
Other MPs like Gloriose Uwanyirigira also wondered how the legal procedure of handing over to applicants both results and exam papers after the recruitment exercise to allow them appeal results was breached yet only results were published.
Gatabazi tried to explain the reasoning behind some official being held accountable and others not but MPs were not convinced thus recommending the ministry to write a full report to parliament.