In June 2018, Rwanda Investigation Bureau (RIB) began a deep investigation into the reported embezzlement of billions of francs meant for poor people from the government’s social scheme (VUP) channeled through Umurenge SACCOs.
The Rwanda Cooperative Agency (RCA) had submitted names of over 200 managers (7% of the 3000 staffs) of the 416 SACCOs for investigation over alleged mismanagement of the funds.
The mismanagement had seen the quasi bank worth over Rwf70 billion lose billions and registering over 16% non-performing loans, way above the central bak’s threshold of 5%.
Local government Minister, Prof. Anastase Shyaka has written to all mayors instructing them to investigate and force all defaulters to have returned their arrears before the new year’s eve and failure to do should attract drastic measures against the culprits.
The President was copied, among other leaders.
He demanded for a report by January 20.
The Minister’s move has come after it was raised during the just concluded Umushyikirano that VUP and SACCOs were experiencing gross malpractices and mismanagement.
On top of the mysterious disappearances of funds, beneficiaries also complained of a high interest rate on the loans which was raised from 2% to 11%, which seen low uptake of loans by intended beneficiaries.
As a result from Umushyikirano, among the ten resolutions, concerned insititutions were tasked with cleaning up the mess in Umurenge SACCOs and revising the their modus operandi.
1. Review how funds meant to support vulnerable people managed by Umurenge SACCO as loans could be managed and loan absorption improved.
2. Improve the overall functioning of Umurenge-SACCO for the better fulfillment of its mission and take adequate measures for quick recovery of loans from defaulters.
3. Improve strategies aimed at promoting the population’s welfare and review the process of allowing those in the second category of Ubudehe to work again in remunerated activities within the framework of the VUP program.
4. Increase the number of post-harvest infrastructure and the variety of commodities for food storage in strategic reserves, as well as improve the functioning of the commodity exchange.
5. Coordinate the planning and implementation, in all relevant institutions, to fast-track elimination of malnutrition and stunting among children.
6. Adopt strategies to remove all challenges impeding the quality of education at all levels, from Primary, Secondary schools, Higher Learning Institutions and Universities.
7. Continue sensitizing Rwandans to appreciate and embrace the use of Made in Rwanda products, increase the quality and quantity of those products and adopt strategies to make their prices affordable and competitive compared to imported products.
8. Put more emphasis on educating the youth about the history of Genocide against Tutsi in inculcating them the values of Rwandan culture (students and youth in diaspora, etc).
9. Preservation of Genocide memorial sites and Genocide physical evidences and continue to address challenges encountered by Genocide survivors including trauma related ones.
10. Fast-track the implementation of the National Long-Term Saving Scheme/Ejo Heza and sensitize Rwandans from all walks of life to subscribe.