The Parliament Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has shown that Kamonyi district officials defied the Prime Minister’s orders on conducting meetings outside their geographical area.
The defiance was highlighted during a PAC hearing on September 18, 2023 where the committee summoned the district officials over queries raised by the Auditor General in the 2021/2022 audit report.
Lack of authorization of conducting meetings outside the premises of the District
The AG’s report showed that during COVID-19, the Office of Prime Minister issued a letter No 0534/DIRCAB/2020, on 4 November 2020 requesting all public institutions that wish to conduct meetings, workshops, conferences and seminars outside their premises to request an authorization from Office of the Prime Minister before 14 days of conducting any of above activity.
Contrary to the above requirement, the audit noted that Kamonyi District incurred expenditure amounting to Rwf21,440,600 to different missions for participation in various meetings, workshops, trainings, seminars held outside the District premises as well as the cost related to meeting rooms and its package.
The AG’s report states that there was no evidence of authorization from the Prime Minister’s office approving to conduct such meetings, workshops and training.
The report says that if Kamonyi had abided by the PM’s orders, this would reduce unnecessary expenditures (mission orders and transport) as the meetings or training could have been held within the district premises.
During the AG’s audit the district management comment said that some of the meetings were conducted within district premises,except some few meetings (held in Muhanga district) “required concentration”.
The district Mayor, Sylvere Nahayo and the District Executive Secretary (DES),Gerard Abiyingoma informed the hearing that this was a mistake and sought forgiveness, however Kamonyi council chairperson, Emilien Lambert Nyoni, said that was unacceptable and a blind spot in the administration especially that they don’t have large conference hotel facilities.
“We (council) didn’t see this coming. As council we debated on the need to have a retreat in an old-fashioned way- near the water bodies, but we couldn’t agree on a decision as many wanted to go out,” Nyoni said.
“A mistake done by a majority is not an excuse, thus we are seeking a pardon for not abiding by the Prime Minister’s order,” Nyoni said.
Nyoni stated that many officials thought the PM orders were aimed at preventing spread of COVID but as a way forward the district has refrained from defying the order which is aimed at cutting district costs and and now looking at alternative ways such as attracting hotel investments in the area.
Contrary to Nyoni’s response, Kamonyi district officially opened its new district offices in January 2016 which cost Rwf 992 Million and has a multipurpose conference hall which can accommodate over 100 participants.
According to the PAC, the next decision on follow up action on the above defiance of the PM’s orders can be taken by the local government chain of command if need be