Language version

Featured

Rwamagana Banana Wine Factory Was ‘Eaten’ Before It Was Built

Advertisement

Published

on

On September 1st, 2017, Vincent Munyeshyaka and other 27 appointees woke up ready for a very important function – The Swearing in Ceremony at Parliament.

President Paul Kagame as per procedure and protocol would preside over this special session in parliament.

The new appointees had already been confirmed by the Cabinet and had duly prepared for this ceremony accompanied by their families and next of kin.

Of the appointees, 18 were full ministers and 10 state ministers.

In taking Oath, they walked forward, held the National flag with their left hands while raising their right hands and read out the oath of allegiance both to uphold the constitution and diligently serve the country and asked God to help them.

When Munyeshyaka started his new job as Minister of Trade and Industry; he requested to first visit the industrial project in Rwamagana district that targeted to create about 5000 jobs.

Rwamagana is 30 minutes’ drive out of Kigali city and this was a doable visit for the new Minister. He drove to the site accompanied by various officials from different departments.

The Minister was given a guided tour of the industrial park but when he reached at the Rwamagana Banana Wine CPC Factory, something didn’t seem right. The Industrial Park site has ten factories; seven factories are not complete while only 3 are fully operational.

Technical experts explained bit by bit about the construction, equipment and business model of this Banana wine plant. The minister did not seem impressed at all by this project.

Vincent Munyeshyaka taking oath for the portfolio of Minister of Trade and Industry

Taarifa thus took keen interest in this project and has for this long haul been investigating most of the issues raised during the minister’s visit to the site.

A detailed inquiry into this project showed that for such a factory to function fully as a viable and profitable venture, it requires the following;

Water accessibility – the experts argue that the designers of this Factory had planned to have water pumped from Lake Muhazi but nothing to this effect has been implemented.

According to the same experts, it would cost almost Rwf 400million to set up a water pumping system from Muhazi to the factory site.

There is no budget for this water supply whether by the district, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Trade and Industry and not even Infrastructure ministry.

Experts also argue that the Factory in its current status will never take off because it has been badly misappropriated before construction and even before its business plan was drafted.

According to National Industrial Research and Development Agency (NIRDA) the government of Rwanda wants at least every district to have industrial capacity.

Experts were required to traverse the country and collect information on resources. A factory would thus be built in a particular zone with the aim of adding value to the abundant resource.

For example Rwamagana district was found to have high concentration and viability of Bananas. Thus it was prudent to build a banana processing factory there. The implementing agency is the Community Processing Centre (CPC).

Government budgeted for every factory a tune of Rwf500million but in every district there would at least be two factories meaning a total of Rwf 1 billion was allocated to every district.

Following the money 

An inquiry into the Rwamagana Banana CPC factory indicates that its construction was completed in December 2016 at a cost of Rwf435million without equipment. The processing equipment were budgeted for Rwf630million.

The processing machines arrived in June 2017 but have never been tested and are still redundant.

The combined value of this Banana processing factory is now valued at Rwf1.065billion- this is more than double the required budget of only Rwf 500million.

Taarifa has also learned that the equipment do not make a complete kit as was proposed in the tender document. It was also discovered that specifications of the equipment delivered by the supplier from Spain did not correspond to those proposed in the tender document.

Experts who are well conversant with factories of this level told Taarifa that Spanish technology does not deliver well in such project.

“Spanish Agro processing technology cannot deliver the desired results as per government of Rwanda requirements in the Banana processing factory,” an expert said on condition of anonymity.

Taarifa has also discovered that during the process of implementing and realising the Rwamagana Banana CPC, it was very important to consult with Banana Processing Cooperative but this was ignored.

The idea is that government builds the factory but it gets operated by the Cooperative which eventually takes it over completely and gives government effort to startup another different factory in the drive to industrialisation.

Until today the Banana Processing Cooperative has never been consulted by those implementing the Rwamagana Banana CPC yet the cooperative has expertise and experience.

Taarifa has also learnt that structures that were planned to support the main factory building have never been built.

At the time when Minister Munyeshyaka Visited the site, the factory was evidently leaking, there is no waste drainage system and that the facility also lacked waste water treatment system.

Meanwhile, another Rwf 500 million has been budgeted for by NIRDA allegedly to complete construction of the factory and buying the missing machines to complete the Kit.

When this money is released, the entire project will be valued at a massive Rwf1.2billion + Rwf500 which is equivalent to Rwf1.7billion – this is the cost of building almost four factories of similar size as specified in the government district industrialisation plan.

Minister Demands for Answers

Definitely the visit to Rwamagana Industrial zone by Minister Munyeshyaka changed his entire expectations. He drove back to Kigali not a happy man.

However, when Minister Munyeshyaka was in Rwamagana he noticed something – the Director General of NIRDA Kampeta Sayinzoga was not present.

A not so happy Minister demanded for answers from Kampeta asking her to give a road map within two weeks showing how all the issues identified at the Rwamagana banana factory will be solved.

The road map was quickly assembled and delivered to the Minister. However, in practice the experts on site say nothing is being implemented despite the road map.

…But why could this Just pass 

A closer review of the procurement process, tendering and the people involved could point to why this project was eaten even before it could germinate.

One pointer is the technical specifications provided in the tender document were prepared by a division manager who does not qualify for such a task. An expert who examined the tender preparation noticed that the person who prepared the specifications holds a fake Curriculum Vitae (CV).

It is also alleged that there must have been an issue of an insider colluding with the Spanish supplier to deliver factory equipment valued at Rwf1.2billion. Yet there could have been better equipment from countries with highly developed technologies.

It was also discovered that this entire Banana Processing project did not have a Business plan both at the time of inception and after the factory site was developed.

The expert found that there are two Business Plans drafted after the Factory and equipment were already delivered.

However, in September 2016, NIRDA had issued a tender 18/S/N/NIRDA-OB/2016-2017 to hire a consultant to revise the business plan.

Insiders privy with information say that Rwanda Investigations Bureau has been critically examining this project right from its tendering process up to implementation.

Other Failing Factories

Despite the fact that Taarifa zeroed in on the Rwamagana Banana processing factory, there are other similar projects that require urgent scrutiny.

For example the Burera CPC Diary, Nyabihu Potato Company, Rutsiro Honey CPC, and Nyanza Ceramics CPC Company. Experts say these projects are not viable and have been tampered with before, during and after implementation.

Advertisement
1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Kennedy Maridadi

    September 13, 2018 at 5:27 pm

    We have said time and again that corruption is given leeway whenever impunity is enthroned. Whenever such wastage is pointed out, punish the culprits swiftly and severely. Otherwise nothing will be concluded profitably

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Featured

Rwanda Police Chief Briefs 240 Officers Ahead Of S. Sudan Deployment

Published

on

The Inspector General of Police (IGP) Dan Munyuza, on Tuesday, March 9, briefed 240 police officers set to be deployed for peacekeeping duties under the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).

The pre-deployment briefing of the hybrid Formed Police Unit-One (FPU-1) contingent was held at the Rwanda National Police (RNP) General Headquarters in Kacyiru.

The contingent commanded by Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP) Faustin Kalimba, will replaced the same number in Malakal, Upper Nile State where they will be largely charged with protection of civilians in internally displaced camps, UN personnel, security of key installations and humanitarian assistance, among others.

IGP Munyuza urged the officers to use their experience and the high level of training acquired to execute their peacekeeping mandate effectively.

He further reminded them that they will work with other peacekeepers from different countries and they will have to exercise respect of diversity.

“Learning will be continuous throughout your tour-of-duty, use your experience to build on what your predecessors achieved, cooperative with other peacekeepers in the mission area and respect the people under your protection as well as their culture,” IGP Munyuza emphasized.

He urged them to keep up the good conduct and protect the image set by previous contingents adding that ” you are representing your country, be at the best of your performance.”

“Your country and Rwanda National Police in particular, have full trust in you, resilience and sacrifice are key. Remember, your conduct and professionalism will depict the image and values of Rwandans, ensure your performance is exceptionally good and maintain the same spirit to the end of your mission,” said IGP Munyuza.

The Police Chief reminded them that Rwandan peacekeepers are defined by their professionalism, discipline, teamwork, integrity, values and alertness, and urged them to keep the momentum to “maintain and protect the image and reputation.”

He emphasized that respecting each other and their superiors in particular, discipline, hard work, teamwork, dignity and respect for diversity are strong guiding values and principles which will help them towards mission excellence.

IGP Munyuza appealed to the officers to maintain the spirit of supporting others and to engage in human security activities with the local people they are mandated to serve.

‘’Participating in human security activities is our culture as Rwandans, you should not only conduct peacekeeping duties just to maintain peace and security. It goes beyond that as our tradition to work towards the overall wellbeing of the people,” IGP Munyuza said.

As the wolrd is still faced with the pandemic of COVID-19, the Police Chief reminded them to always observe all health guidelines including wearing face masks, avoiding shaking hands, washing hands and practicing social distancing, among others.

This will be the sixth rotation of FPU-1 hybrid since the first one was deployed in South Sudan in 2015.

It is also one of the three Rwandan FPU contingents currently deployed in South Sudan.

Currently, RNP maintains over 1000 police peacekeepers in various UN missions, including six contingents serving in UNMISS and the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA).

Continue Reading

Business

Chinese Companies Win Tender to Construct Railway From Mwanza to Isaka 

Published

on

The Standard Gauge Railway from Mwanza to Isaka in neighbouring Tanzania will be constructed by two Chinese Companies that have won a lucrative tender for this job.

Prof. Palamagamba Kabudi Tanzania’s foreign minister said on Thursday during a presser on the eve of the Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi’s two-day visit to Tanzania.

The Mwanza-Isaka railway stretch will cover a distance of 341 kilometres and construction is estimated to cost TShs3 trillion will be handled by China Civil Engineering Construction (CCEC) and China Railway Construction Company (CRCC).

The Tanzanian government through the Tanzania Railway Corporation (TRC) is constructing a 2,561Km SGR network that links Dar es Salaam, Mwanza, Kigoma, Katavi and neighboring countries of Rwanda, Burundi Uganda and DRC.

The over Sh7 trillion project is being implemented in phases with the first round covering 202km between Dar es Salaam and Morogoro, was initially scheduled to be ready by November 2020 but heavy rains disrupted construction works.

Construction of the first and the second phase is being undertaken by Turkish construction company, Yapi Markez.

The first phase will have six main stations at Dar es Salaam, Pugu, Soga, Ruvu, Ngerengere and Morogoro, with the Dar es Salaam and Morogoro stations being the largest.

The second phase which is under implementation involves 422km between Morogoro and Makutupora in Singida with the project set to be completed within 36 months at a cost of $1,924 billion.

The railway is East Africa’s fastest and will use electricity to move trains will travel at 160km per hour and transport 10,000 tonnes of freight which is equivalent to 500 cargo trucks.

Upon completion, the SGR project is expected to payback the investment value after 15 years.

In October 2020, Tanzania government signed $60 million (about Sh138 billion) contract with a South Korean firm to supply trains for the standard gauge railway (SGR).

 

The Citizen

 

Continue Reading

Featured

Trump Attacks Election Integrity As Biden Nears 270 Electoral College Votes

Published

on

President Donald Trump is testing how far he can go in using the trappings of presidential power to undermine confidence in this week’s election against Joe Biden, as the Democrat contender gained ground in tight contests in some key battleground states.

With his pathway to re-election appearing to shrink, Trump has advanced unsupported accusations of voter fraud to falsely argue that his rival was trying to seize power. Thursday’s moves amounted to an extraordinary effort by a sitting American president to sow doubt about the democratic process.

“This is a case when they are trying to steal an election, they are trying to rig an election,” Trump said from the podium of the White House briefing room.

The president’s remarks deepened a sense of anxiety in the U.S. as Americans enter their third full day after the election without knowing who would serve as president for the next four years.

His statements also prompted a rebuke from some Republicans, particularly those looking to steer the party in a different direction in a post-Trump era.

Electoral college magic number

Neither candidate has reached the 270 Electoral College votes needed to win the White House. But Biden eclipsed Trump in Wisconsin and Michigan, two crucial Midwestern battleground states, and has been inching closer to overtaking the president in Pennsylvania and Georgia, where votes are still being counted. It remains unclear when a national winner will be declared after a long, bitter campaign dominated by the coronavirus and its effects on Americans and the national economy.

On Wednesday, The U.S.set another record for daily confirmed cases as several states posted all-time highs. The pandemic has killed more than 233,000 people in the United States.

Rising tensions

Biden spent Thursday trying to ease tensions and project a more traditional image of presidential leadership. After participating in a coronavirus briefing, he declared that “each ballot must be counted.”

“I ask everyone to stay calm. The process is working,” Biden said. “It is the will of the voters. No one, not anyone else who chooses the president of the United States of America.”

 

Biden’s victories in the upper Midwest put him in a strong position, but Trump showed no sign of giving up. It could take several more days for the vote count to conclude and a clear winner to emerge. With millions of ballots yet to be tabulated, Biden already had received more than 73 million votes, the most in history.

Trump’s erroneous claims about the integrity of the election challenged Republicans now faced with the choice of whether to break with a president who, though his grip on his office grew tenuous, commanded sky-high approval ratings from rank-and-file members of the GOP.

Lawsuits and late mail-in ballots

Trump’s campaign engaged in a flurry of legal activity to try to improve the Republican president’s chances, requesting a recount in Wisconsin and filing lawsuits in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Georgia. Judges in Georgia and Michigan quickly dismissed Trump campaign lawsuits there on Thursday.

Trump has held a small edge in Georgia, though Biden has been gaining on him as votes continue to be counted. The same is true in Pennsylvania, where Trump’s lead had slipped to about 22,000 votes — and the race is destined to get tighter.

One reason is because elections officials were not allowed to process mail-in ballots until Election Day under state law. It’s a form of voting that has skewed heavily in Biden’s favour after Trump spent months claiming without proof that voting by mail would lead to widespread voter fraud.

Mail ballots from across the state were overwhelmingly breaking in Biden’s direction. A final vote total may not be clear for days because the use of mail-in ballots, which take more time to process, has surged as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Trump campaign said it was confident the president would ultimately pull out a victory in Arizona, where votes were also still being counted, including in Maricopa County, the state’s most populous area.

The AP has declared Biden the winner in Arizona and said Thursday that it was monitoring the vote count as it proceeded.

rfi

Continue Reading

Trending

Share
Share via