President Paul Kagame has expressed disappointment in poor housing inspection and officials conniving in allowing poor services that can jeopardize life of people.
This afternoon, the president was speaking during the closing of National Civic Training, Itorero for over 2,000 Cell Executive Secretaries, from across the country, gathering at Intare Conference Arena-Kigali.
Last week, a video clip of houses falling down went viral. In the background, a woman explained that the houses from Urukumbuzi real estate in Kinyinya sector were falling down because they were not erected on a foundation, among other technical shortfalls.
President Kagame who learnt about this case, first spoke in general and said that, when there is a fatality caused by poor housing, lost lives should be blamed on officials who did not follow up on the case.
After this however, the president dwelled on a specific case of the Urukumbuzi estate, first by checking whether officials in charge were aware.
The Minister of Infrastructure stood up to explain, and he said the case comes from an estate by one Nsabimana Jean known as Dubai who started the project in 2015.
“The investigation that was conducted indicated that he did not follow the building code. He also used poor materials,” the Minister explained.
From this background, the president asked how all these happened, and officials did not stop the project.
“That would mean that whoever wants to do something does it in their selfish interests and give people bogus. How does that work?”
The Minister of infrastructure admitted that there were poor coordination where an institution allowed construction of poor housing without abiding to the code, then the developer was given occupancy permit, yet there were inspection teams.
The president even brought another scenario of people being given construction permit, and after finishing the project, officials say they were built in a wrong place.
“How come? Two years and we can only wake up when a project kills people?”
The president who recalled other cases said it is sad that officials do not learn from past mistakes.
“Since you admit that these are the things we can’t live with, let go into practice,”he said.
The minister of infrastructure continued to explain that some officials saw the issue coming, but they hid everything, including inspection outcomes that showed the poor housing.
“We have a case of indifference where one does not feel concerned when they are not directly assigned to something,” he said.
After several questions that intended the wake the officials up but which went unanswered, the President brought a second specific case of poor housing in Kicukiro district.
A couple of months ago, the president visited the district in Kigali, accompanied with the district coordinator, the city mayor, and the minister of infrastructure.
He saw a building poorly constructed, and he advised on changes that needed to be made.
Four months later, he saw the same issue and sent the Prime Minister for it, and today, nothing was done about his advice.
“I invited the district coordinator here whom I really wanted to meet. Tell us! What happened?”
The district coordinator was straight to apologize for failure to follow up and so did the Mayor.
“I am not getting anything in that apology you are asking, but I am asking what’s wrong with you,” the president asked.
The officials said that they tried to follow it up, but are not either satisfied by the implementation of the advice that has given the president.
The understanding of the president is that several officials are failing the Rwanda’s value of integrity, honesty, to an extent they can accommodate the evil, look on when something wrong is taking place around them.