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Genocide fund officials sacked for mismanagement

afrol News, 15 January - Rwandan government has dismissed senior officials working for the Fund for Support of Genocide Survivors (FARG) for alleged misappropriation of millions of government funds targeted for survivors of the infamous 1994 genocide, local media has reported.

Since 1998, the government has reserved 5 percent of its annual budget to create a fund to aid the survivors with education, housing, social rehabilitation and general support.

Local news agency said despite a bold government initiative to aid survivors, conditions of survivors have remained unchanged while for others it has deteriorated. FARG received US $2million in 2008, after spending another $1,425 million in 2007. For this year, government will avail more than $2,673, million.

According to the National Prosecuting Authority, up to 17 cases of embezzlement of FARG money have been recorded and prosecutions could be underway.

However, the sacked officials have shifted a blame saying corrupt local officials have abused their authority to include in the lists, people they favour, leaving behind vulnerable sections of the society. Local reports said about 30,000 beneficiaries are eliminated on FARG's list every year but said another expanded number is registered.

A survey recently carried out to establish the number of the vulnerable survivors has revealed that out of the 309,368 survivors already on the government books, some 119,385 are considered impoverished and need assistance.

In 2006, a parliamentary commission recommended that government should consider increasing its financial allocation from 5 percent to 12, but the entire House rejected the proposal saying that the funds would be abused.

The news agency said the Western Province of the country was in the spotlight after information was unearthed indicating that almost all local officials were conniving to embezzle FARG money.

There have also been some reports from other quarters saying that because the exact number of Genocide survivors is not known, some people have taken advantage of the ambiguity.

An estimated 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed often by machete or club during a 100-day period starting in early April 1994.

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