Rwanda parliament has cautioned Rwanda Transport Development Authority (RTDA) and the Local Administrative Entities Development Agency (LODA) to address unnecessary delays recorded in paying off and compensating citizens, an issue that has become a persistent concern in the Auditor General’s reports.
At the Parliament Accounts Committee (PAC) hearing, on September 8, 2022 it was indicated that RTDA had major delays and growing arrears in expropriation funds which are contrary to the expropriation law and disregard for citizens’ benefits in implementing development activities.
PAC showed that it took from 200 and 430 days since 2015 to pay expropriation fees contrary to the 120 days required by the law.
RTDA Director General, Imena Munyampenda explained that this year they have pooled Rwf 6 billion for expropriation but arrears amounting to Rwf300million have been paid which is small compared to the balance.
“This payment was coming from arrears but we are fighting with the pending backlog debts of Rwf 4 billion that we need to pay to clear off this issue,” he said.
These explanations sent MPs into shock, discontentment, wondering, and asking many questions.
MP Beline Uwineza couldn’t understand why the arrears accumulated to that level.
“I wonder if RTDA has stopped abusing the law and doing its own things, and whatever the arrears are, this shouldn’t be the case whatsoever,” MP Uwineza said.
For MP Jean Rene Niyorurema, these failures are the reason why there are unplanned settlements because RTDA is literally forcing people out of their land.
The Director General in the ministry of infrastructure, Fidele Abimana committed to working with RTDA to have the expropriation issues addressed before the works start as we have done with Rwanda Energy Group but also find a mechanism to have all debts paid and move on.
Parliament Budget committee said this should be resolved especially on dossiers pending including unsigned paperwork and delays since the budget is always available.
“We don’t need to disrupt implementation procedures by not abiding by the law. The citizens will not be happy to use or own the infrastructure which they know clearly was part of their trouble in life and poor welfare,” said MP Marcelline Basigayabo.
On LODA, similar or related issues were underscoring where the AG’s report also showed the organization’s failure to deliver tenders on time, disburse funds, and lack of management which has cost the citizens and programs run.
For instance, four (4) tenders worth $6,500,000 were awarded with delays considering the planned deadlines for their award. The delays noted were ranging between 9 and 132 days by the time of audit in December 2021.
Furthermore, the management did not provide documented evidence explaining the reasons for the above delays in the tender process.
LODA showed delays in funds disbursed for district annual activities- as of June 2021 LODA transferred to districts funds amounting to Rwf640.7M to implement the district’s annual planned activities. However, the audit revealed that delays in the disbursement of these funds ranged between 11 and 80 days.
Also out of Rwf14.8Billion that ought to have been transferred by SACCOs to Districts by 30 September 2021, SACCOs returned only a Rwf13.8billion representing (93% of amount) that ought to be returned to districts). Hence, Rwf976, 1Million were not yet returned as at the time of the audit in December 2021.