Posts tagged as: secretary

Regional Body Saves U.S.$3.4 Million From Travel Expenses

Photo: East African Legislative Assembly

Member states and and East African Legislative Assembly flags.

By Florence Mugarula

The East African Community Secretariat has saved 3.4 m/ US dollar by cutting down travel expenses in 10 month period. The EAC secretariat said in a statement on Wednesday that it had significantly reduced traveling expenses in the period running from May 2016 to February 2017 compared to a similar period from May 2015 to February 2016.

EAC Secretary General, Liberat Mfumukeko disclosed that travel expenditures fell to 9.1m/ US dollar in the period ending February 2017 compared to 12.5m/ US dollar in the previous financial year, which is a drop of 3.4m/ US dollar.

EAC travel expenditure includes air tickets for EAC Staff, air tickets for Partner States’ delegates and other participants at EAC meetings, and daily subsistence allowance (DSA) for EAC staff, partner states delegates and other participants in EAC meetings.

Mr Mfumukeko said some of the most significant cost reductions were in expenditure on air tickets which dropped by 456,491/ US dollar and air tickets for partner states’ delegates and other participants to EAC meetings which declined by 408,273/ US dollar.

The Secretary General said that DSA for EAC staff also plunged from 4.5m/ US dollar to 3.2m/ US dollar over the same period, which is a difference of 1.36m/ US dollar.

Moreover, expenditure on DSA for delegates to EAC meetings went down from 4.4m/ US dollar to 3.5m/US dollar, which is a drop of 1.05m/ US dollar. Mr Mfumukeko added that the EAC overall travel budget has declined significantly over the past three financial years.

He said the Community’s travel budget was 28.1m/ US dollar in the 2014/2015 fiscal year, then 28m/ US dollar in the 2015/2016 and 21m/ US dollar 2016/2017 financial year.

He said the secretariat has since April 2016 been undergoing administrative and institutional reforms aimed at cutting down on costs and reducing wastage in its expenditure

East Africa

EU Condemns the Recent Executions in Somalia

The European Union considers the death penalty to be a cruel and inhumane punishment, which fails to provide deterrence… Read more »

Arts Council to Supervise Miss Tanzania

The Minister for Information, Culture, Arts and Sports, Harrison Mwakyembe, has ordered the National Arts Council (BASATA) to supervise efficiently the Miss Tanzania beauty pageant to ensure it abides with regulation and standards.

Minister Mwakyembe issued the order yesterday in Dodoma after meeting with the council to discuss various issues on how best to run Miss Tanzania pageants and other beauty contests run under the tutelage of Hashim Lundega.

The Minister ordered BASATA to closely and efficiently supervise beauty contests and make them meet the desired success. He said the widely reported cases of misconducts resulted into making the pageants lose attractions, a situation that forces some sponsors to withdraw their support.

The minister went on to say the aim of the supervision is to ensure the beauty pageants are professionally conducted to get the right winner of the pageant who can well represent the country in Miss World. “I order the National Arts Council to closely supervise the pageants so that we can get the right winners who meet standards,” he said.

On his side the council’s Executive Secretary, Godfrey Muingereza, assured the minister that they will supervise efficiently the Miss Tanzania beauty pageants as per his directives to ensure they meet standards.

Additionally, the Chairman of Miss Tanzania committee and the licensed organiser, Hashim Lundenga, promised to cooperate with the ministry and the council in organising and improving the status of Miss Tanzania pageants in a bid to restore the lost glory of the events.

The annual beauty pageant will be staged later this year under committee comprising Lundenga, Bosco Majaliwa (Secretary) and Deo Kapten.

Last year, the beauty pageant was staged in Mwanza and Diana Edward Lukumai was crowned the Miss Tanzania of 2016, and represented the country in the 66th edition of Miss World beauty pageant held in Washington DC in the United States.

Tanzania

Gold Regains Status As Tanzania’s Top Export

Gold has regained its prestigious position as Tanzania’s largest non-traditional goods export, thanks to a rise in value… Read more »

Nigeria: Katsina Communities Reject Polio Immunisation Over ‘Lack of Amenities’

By Bashir Bello

There are strong indications that Katsina communities are resisting Polio immunisation over non-provision of social amenities by the state government.

Members of Ward Development Committee, WDC, disclosed this in a chat with newsmen in Katsina, yesterday.

The communities include Yashi, in Danmusa Local Government Area; Jiba and Chambala villages in Batsari Local Government Area of Katsina State.

Chairman of WDC in Danmusa, Muhammad Danjuma, said the communities were resisting attempt to immunise their wards due to what they described as government’s negligence.

He cited an instance with Yashi village, where the populace protested lack of good roads, water, hospital and school, saying “no road, no immunisation.”

Similarly, the Ward Head of Ruma in Batsari Local Government Area, Bello Ruma, narrated his expe-rience where two villages of Jiba and Chambala refused administration of the vaccines on their wards.

He said the people threatened not to allow immunisation of their wards until their needs are met.

The WDC Secretary for Batsari, Sani Umar, said in the past immunisation suffered setbacks as a result of insecurity.

Nigeria

Truck Crushes Motorcyclist to Death in Lagos

A commercial motorcyclist was crushed to death by a heavy duty truck at Daleko area of Lagos on Thursday. Read more »

Kenya Bans Liquefied Petroleum Gas Onland Imports From Tanzania

Photo: Daily News

Liquefied Petroleum Gas.

By Florence Mugarula

Most of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) consumers in the country are likely to be purchasing half-filled cylinders due to illegal gas refilling by dishonest traders.

The government regulatory authorities and some dealers have confirmed to the Daily News that the problem was rampant in some areas in the country and that they are doing everything in their capacity to resolve it. As a result, such acts have since prompted the government of Kenya to ban the importation of gas from Tanzania through land routes.

On Monday, Kenya’s Ministry of Energy banned imports of cooking gas through the common border – on land only, for now. Kenyan Petroleum Principal Secretary Andrew Kamau said traders will not be allowed to import gas via land borders to Kenya.

The move, according to Mr Kamau, is meant to eliminate illegal cooking gas filling plants which have popped up in various parts of Kenya, posing safety and security risks. Speaking to the ‘Daily News,’ one of gas dealers in the country who also supplies gas to neighbouring Kenya, said some dishonest traders had established illegal gas refilling stations along highways, too.

Energy and Water Utilities Regulatory Authority (EWURA) Director General, Felix Ngamlagosi, told the Daily News that his office is aware of the problem and that it is dealing with it accordingly. He admitted that some dishonest traders were illegally refilling gas cylinders.

According to Mr Ngalamgosi, the practice poses safety and security risks and that it is against the Petroleum Act, 2015, which forbids gas filling without the approval of EWURA and other regulatory bodies. He said EWURA had been conducting inspections in various areas within the country from time to time to ensure there’s no illegal refilling or any practices contravening the law of the land.

The EWURA boss said illegal gas ‘dealers’ take the cylinders, fill them and return them into the market, adding that his office had since identified what it calls a “big filling station in Dar es Salaam.” “We are doing everything in our power to curb the situation, but we will only succeed if ‘wananchi’ support us in this war,” he said.

Mr Ngalamgosi asked the public to report anything related to the illegal gas refilling or any kind of criminality that involve gas business to Ewura or police so that immediate measures could be taken to curb the situation.

“I would like to call upon the public to support EWURA get to the bottom of this problem, illegal gas refilling is very dangerous … it can cause fires or any other hazards because the exercise takes place in unauthorised areas and without following safety measures,” he said.

He added that illegal refilling means disaster, especially so when the filling station running this dangerous business sits in the middle of residential areas. He asked the public to report any movements that involve trucks that carry gas cylinders for offloading in such stations. He said such illegal business denies the government millions of shillings in revenue.

Oryx gas Tanzania Marketing Manager, Mr Mohamed Mohamed said the banning of gas exportation to Kenya by Kenyan authority will in one way or another affect businesses. He said, however, that the Kenyan government measure must serve as a waking call to Tanzania authorities to find a lasting solution to illegal gas refilling in the country. He said some traders have been illegally refilling cylinders to make more profit.

He said the Kenyan government has decided to take action for interests of its people. “LPG is highly flammable and just a small leak or contact with a spark can cause an explosion, it’s very dangerous for the people and thus Kenyan government is trying to save its people from problems,” he said.

He added: “To make their business look legitimate, the gas is repackaged into branded cylinders to leverage off trusted brands before finding its way into the market through the backdoor.” He said the recent incident in which Ewura discovered an illegal filling station in Dar es Salaam, they found various cylinders with brands including oryx gas.

“So these people are killing our business, they use our brand to sell half-filled cylinders, this is unfair and unacceptable, therefore, we are asking the government to push more and make sure this bad practice is completely bunged,” said Mr Mohamed.

East Africa: Kenya Bans Liquefied Petroleum Gas Onland Imports From Tanzania

Photo: Daily News

Liquefied Petroleum Gas.

By Florence Mugarula

Most of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) consumers in the country are likely to be purchasing half-filled cylinders due to illegal gas refilling by dishonest traders.

The government regulatory authorities and some dealers have confirmed to the Daily News that the problem was rampant in some areas in the country and that they are doing everything in their capacity to resolve it. As a result, such acts have since prompted the government of Kenya to ban the importation of gas from Tanzania through land routes.

On Monday, Kenya’s Ministry of Energy banned imports of cooking gas through the common border – on land only, for now. Kenyan Petroleum Principal Secretary Andrew Kamau said traders will not be allowed to import gas via land borders to Kenya.

The move, according to Mr Kamau, is meant to eliminate illegal cooking gas filling plants which have popped up in various parts of Kenya, posing safety and security risks. Speaking to the ‘Daily News,’ one of gas dealers in the country who also supplies gas to neighbouring Kenya, said some dishonest traders had established illegal gas refilling stations along highways, too.

Energy and Water Utilities Regulatory Authority (EWURA) Director General, Felix Ngamlagosi, told the Daily News that his office is aware of the problem and that it is dealing with it accordingly. He admitted that some dishonest traders were illegally refilling gas cylinders.

According to Mr Ngalamgosi, the practice poses safety and security risks and that it is against the Petroleum Act, 2015, which forbids gas filling without the approval of EWURA and other regulatory bodies. He said EWURA had been conducting inspections in various areas within the country from time to time to ensure there’s no illegal refilling or any practices contravening the law of the land.

The EWURA boss said illegal gas ‘dealers’ take the cylinders, fill them and return them into the market, adding that his office had since identified what it calls a “big filling station in Dar es Salaam.” “We are doing everything in our power to curb the situation, but we will only succeed if ‘wananchi’ support us in this war,” he said.

Mr Ngalamgosi asked the public to report anything related to the illegal gas refilling or any kind of criminality that involve gas business to Ewura or police so that immediate measures could be taken to curb the situation.

“I would like to call upon the public to support EWURA get to the bottom of this problem, illegal gas refilling is very dangerous … it can cause fires or any other hazards because the exercise takes place in unauthorised areas and without following safety measures,” he said.

He added that illegal refilling means disaster, especially so when the filling station running this dangerous business sits in the middle of residential areas. He asked the public to report any movements that involve trucks that carry gas cylinders for offloading in such stations. He said such illegal business denies the government millions of shillings in revenue.

Oryx gas Tanzania Marketing Manager, Mr Mohamed Mohamed said the banning of gas exportation to Kenya by Kenyan authority will in one way or another affect businesses. He said, however, that the Kenyan government measure must serve as a waking call to Tanzania authorities to find a lasting solution to illegal gas refilling in the country. He said some traders have been illegally refilling cylinders to make more profit.

He said the Kenyan government has decided to take action for interests of its people. “LPG is highly flammable and just a small leak or contact with a spark can cause an explosion, it’s very dangerous for the people and thus Kenyan government is trying to save its people from problems,” he said.

He added: “To make their business look legitimate, the gas is repackaged into branded cylinders to leverage off trusted brands before finding its way into the market through the backdoor.” He said the recent incident in which Ewura discovered an illegal filling station in Dar es Salaam, they found various cylinders with brands including oryx gas.

“So these people are killing our business, they use our brand to sell half-filled cylinders, this is unfair and unacceptable, therefore, we are asking the government to push more and make sure this bad practice is completely bunged,” said Mr Mohamed.

Ruling Paty and Opposition Are One and the Same – Audit

By Louis Kolumbia

Dar es Salaam — Concerned about the lack of tight control of funds within political parties, the Controller and Auditor General (CAG) has tabled a raft of measures that he believes can fill some major loopholes that for long could have been a key source of dirty money for a well-connected few.

Both the ruling party CCM and opposition establishments have been found wanting in the manner in which they manage their finances and general assets in the latest CAG report. The annual report was released in Parliament a little over a week ago.

Prof Mussa Assad, the CAG, revealed that on matters financial, political parties are blatantly defying the Political Parties Act of 1992, which clearly states how they are supposed to manage their finances.

It’s not the first time that the National Audit Office raises concerns about the lack of financial accountability. Last year, the CAG report also highlighted similar loopholes.

Apparently, nothing much has been done to address them, and as the regulatory authority, the Registrar of Political Parties faces criticism for turning a blind eye to the irregularities.

And a good portion of the money that the political parties are being accused of not managing well are public funds – subventions from the government.

Registered parties that participated in the immediate past election and have at least one of their candidates elected, can get subvention from the government, according to the current law.

Sources of funds for political parties can also be member fees, voluntary contributions, income from party investments and donations, as stipulated by the Political Parties Act.

While the 2015/16 audit report did not include financial statements from major opposition political parties Chadema, Civic United Front (CUF) and NCCR Mageuzi due to various reasons, audited accounts of 19 others, including CCM and ACT-Wazalendo, exposed questionable management of revenue and expenditure. Prof Assad noted that the parties were failing to maintain elementary books of accounts, such as trial balances, cash books, individual ledger accounts and general ledgers, which are important documents in the preparation and presentation of financial statements.

The CAG expressed concerns over the lack of competent people in the parties’ finance departments. He noted that staff members were incapable of managing funds and professionally advising management regarding planning, policy and capital investment.

For example, according to Prof Assad, the incompetence of accounts people is revealed in their submission of financial statements with value of land and buildings on the same sheet, contrary to stipulations of the International Accounting Standards (IAS), which recognise land as a property whose value increased gradually.

“Failure to recognise value of land that has appreciating nature is highly understating the party’s accounting books, resulting in the false presentation of financial position,” reads part of the CAG report.

The CAG suggests that some of these problems could be tackled if political parties had accountable secretary generals whose targets are clearly spelt out in employment contracts, as opposed to the current scenario where they function as volunteers.

Among the 19 audited political parties are ACT-Wazalendo, Alliance for Tanzania Farmers Party, Tanzania Democratic Alliance (Tadea), Chama cha Kijamii, Alliance for Tanzania Democratic Change, Democratic Party, Demokrasia Makini, Chama cha Sauti ya Umma (SAU),National League for Democracy and United Democratic Party.

National Reconstruction Party (NRA), United People’s Democratic Party (UPDP)), Party for People’s Redemption (Chaumma) and Union for Multiparty Democracy (UMD) did not submit their annual financial statements, contrary to Section 14 (1) (i) of Political Parties Act of 1992.

Other parties – Demokrasia Makini, Chama cha Kijamii and Alliance for Democratic Change (ADC) – did not maintain bank accounts at all.

CCM branches of Kinondoni, Ilala and Temeke; the women, parents and youth wings; its mouthpiece Uhuru Publication and People’s Media Communications Limited (PMCL) operated without counterfoils – part of a cheque, receipt, ticket, or other document that is torn off and kept as a record by the person or office issuing it.

Without the counterfoils, members can use cheque and receipt books for their personal benefit.

Some parties were also found to have no updated asset registers, a situation that members can easily manipulate to abuse party property.

There have also been concerns that the lack of tight controls within political parties provides fertile ground for corruption.

In the ruling party, one of the measures that President John Magufuli took to reform CCM structures and operations was to plug loopholes that were suspected to be channels of corruption.

Even before he assumed the CCM chairmanship last year, President Magufuli criticised the party over corruption and complacency, promising reforms once he is elected its chairman.

And as he took over the office from his predecessor, former President Jakaya Kikwete, Dr Magufuli decried “rampant corruption” in the party, and alluded to abuse of CCM assets by senior members at the various levels in the structures of the party.

The CCM chairman said he would work to ensure that party assets are not abused by a few individuals. At a ceremony to launch the Dodoma Convention Centre, Mr Kikwete also noted that the party could use its assets to generate revenue and stop its dependency on donors.

For political parties, both the ruling and opposition, the lack of accountability could be by design, some political analysts say.

Mr Humphrey Polepole, CCM national executive secretary of ideology and publicity, told Political Platform Monday that his party had already started working on rectifying the gray areas noted in the CAG report. “The CAG report is a useful resource… CCM leaders are currently visiting regions to address the irregularities, and ensure they do not appear in the next report.”

Mr Parit Sarun, a political science lecturer at Mwalimu Nyerere Memorial University, says there is a culture of self-aggrandizement within the country’s political parties – and that it’s high time they cleansed themselves.

“They should be serious about cleaning up if they are to have the moral authority of supervising local and central government.”

Dr Hamad Salim, a political analyst at the Open University of Tanzania, says the CAG’s revelations are a no-surprise. But he is quick to point out that it is the parties’ best interest to reform their financial management systems to align them with the CAG recommendations.

The OUT political scientist explains that the ruling party, for example, has valuable assets across the country, but because they have not been properly managed, revenue generated could have been benefiting a few individuals within the party.

It will also help institutionalise political parties, he says.

University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM) political analyst Prof Bakari Mohamed says financial impropriety is a trap from which parties are finding it difficult to free themselves.

He blames the situation on politics of patronage. “Most political parties do not have a defined system of leadership.”

I’m Overwhelmed By Support, Waiguru Says After Victory

By Joseph Muraya

Nairobi — “We are overwhelmed by the support we have gotten,” were former Devolution Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru’s words, after securing the Jubilee Party’s gubernatorial certificate with a landslide in Kirinyaga County.

Waiguru garnered 100,632 votes compared to her closest competitor Kirinyaga Central MP Gitari Gachoki’s 46,678 while the outgoing Governor Joseph Ndathi’s was at distant third with 17,085 votes.

She described the nomination process as free, fair and transparent, saying the will of the people has prevailed.

According to Waiguru, her track record as a Cabinet Secretary endeared her to the electorate despite her woes over the National Youth Service.

“People here analyse things differently from the city. They know my work very well while I was in the government,” she said.

Kenya

Safaricom Given 7 Days to Explain Outage

Communications Authority Director General Francis Wangusi has said it has given Safaricom seven days to give a… Read more »

Namibia: Scheme Mooted to Reduce Food Imports

By Chrispin Inambao

Shadikongoro — Food imports running into billions of dollars could be a thing of the past if the government endorses the new comprehensive integrated agriculture development programme that will before the end of this month be submitted to the prime minister and eventually to Cabinet by the agriculture ministry.

This was revealed on Monday to Vice-President Dr Nickey Iyambo by Percy Misika, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, at Shadikongoro green scheme irrigation project, 180km east of Rundu in Kavango East Region, when Iyambo visited the project.

Misika informed Iyambo about the new agriculture development programme when the project manager at Shadikongoro expressed concern about local farmers still enduring a lack of market access for their produce, as South African retail shops still preferred to import tomatoes, onions, cabbages and other produce from South Africa at the expense of Namibian agriculture producers.

During the consultative meeting with Danie Marais, the Shadikongoro project manager, also attended by the Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry John Mutorwa and Kavango East Governor Dr Samuel Mbambo, Iyambo expressed concern that local retailers still stocked their shops with vegetables imported from South Africa, this despite the fact that local projects produce quality produce.

Misika said the agriculture ministry would before the end of next week present to the Office of the Prime Minister the comprehensive integrated agriculture development programme detailing the amount of food that local farmers and green schemes produce and how much food is consumed.

Briefing the vice-president, Misika said the integrated agriculture development programme contains information on what kind of food is produced locally, and details how much of each of the food items Namibia consumes and how much of each food item is imported.

In a brief interview with New Era after the meeting with the vice-president, Misika said food imports whose transactions are usually in American dollars and euros deplete the country’s much needed foreign currency, in most cases buying agricultural produce that is farmed locally.

He emphasised that the integrated agriculture development programme, besides enabling the ministry to know how much of the strategic food is produced locally, will detail how much food green schemes and commercial farmers could sell to local markets and to institutions such as the police and prisons for feeding inmates, Namibian Defence Force, school feeding programme, hospitals, the food bank, and how much is needed for the strategic food reserve.

“If these government institutions that have significant purchasing power can buy directly from local producers of agriculture commodities, I can assure you that Namibia in five years can turn from a net food-importing country to a net food-exporting country, which should be our goal,” he enthused.

“Instead of us now subsidising fertilisers, subsidising seed, subsidising ploughing services – we don’t need to do that because if we have these government institutions having contracts to buy from farmers, then with these contracts our farmers can go to financial institutions and get his or her loan to buy seeds, buy fertilisers, and when he sells to these institutions they pay him and he then repays back the loan. So the current government subsidy that we have can then be utilised for asset acquisition whereby farmers are helped to buy tractors, to buy ploughs, to buy farming equipment or even irrigation systems – that is the programme we are coming up with,” he elaborated.

Namibia

Home Affairs Encourages Child-Naming Before Birth

Minister of Home Affairs and Immigration Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana has urged parents, particularly fathers, to name their… Read more »

This Senseless Violence Must Not Be Condoned

editorial

Time and again, we have spoken against political violence that takes place in the country now and then. Now what happened during a press conference called by the Civic United Front (CUF) faction allied to secretary general Seif Shariff Hamad on Saturday in Dar es Salaam, is a matter of serious concern.

Violence reared its ugly head again. Chaos broke out and the planned press conference was disrupted by goons allegedly hired by a rival faction within the Opposition party.

Many people, including journalists, were attacked during the ugly incident which left several people injured.

This is just how destructive violence can be and the only people who can stop it from metamorphosing into permanent feature our competitive politics are political leaders.

It doesn’t matter who instigated who and who reacted how; the issue is, as long as this kind of political behaviour goes unchecked, we are headed for serious trouble as a country.

We have to learn lessons from other countries that have seen political violence decimate communities and bring deep rooted divisions.

As a media, we join other voices in advocating peace in this country since we understand the negative consequences of such ugly acts.

Tanzanians should be made to understand that political violence has contributed immensely in making Africa the most conflict-ridden region in the world.

Rwanda for one is a country that has experienced violence of the worst kind with humans killing fellow humans.

Those who survived the genocide in Rwanda will tell you that the core issues behind the senseless killing of close to a million people was more political than ethnicity.

To those bent to violence, we say: remember that Tanzania belongs to us all and so, every Tanzanian is free to move or go anywhere.

We should refrain from allowing senseless acts of violence creep in; we need to ensure Tanzania doesn’t descend into chaos.

Tanzania

Chief Justice Turns to Experts on Powers of Prosecutions Director

Acting Chief Justice, Prof Ibrahim Juma has invited two prominent law professors to assist the Court of Appeal… Read more »

Govt to Harmonise Child Registration With ID System

By Nasra Bishumba

Following success of last year’s campaign that saw more than 500,000 children registered, the Government is now gearing up to ease the process by harmonising child registration with the national identity programme, the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Local Government has said.

Odette Uwamariya said this while participating at a stakeholders meeting that brought together government, civil society and development partners to review the progress made in attaining the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) recommendations.

UPR is a unique mechanism of the Human Rights Council (HRC) aimed at improving the human rights situation in each of the 193 United Nations member states.

The month-long campaign aimed at having more children registered to enable the Government to plan and avail them vital services, and saw 511,000 children registered countrywide.

At the Kigali meeting yesterday, Uwamariya said that while all local government authorities had been encouraged to take the process seriously, the focus was now on modernising and integrating the available systems so that it’s easier for all parents to register their children.

“We are focusing on the modernisation of the civil registry, integrating the available systems and linking it with the national ID programme to reduce the procedures involved so that when a child is born anywhere in this country, they are immediately registered without necessarily going through many channels,” she said.

According to the 2014/15 Demographic and Health Survey, the status of birth registration in Rwanda shows that only 56 per cent of children were notified at the sector Civil Registration and Notary Services in 2015.

The statistics show a decline from 83 per cent in 2005 and 63 per cent in 2010, which was blamed on the legal status of parents that hampers many from registering their children.

The current registration system does not cater for special cases such as unwanted pregnancies, informally married couples, and juvenile births.

Uwamariya also touched on funds allocated to vulnerable people, saying the Government and its development partners were working hand-in-hand to see that the current momentum in poverty eradication is maintained.

“Sixteen per cent of the population still live under the poverty line but we are optimistic because looking at the trend in the last few years, so many households have graduated from poverty thanks to combined efforts of the Government and its partners. Our target for 2017-2019 is to reduce the number to 9 per cent and, in 2020, we look forward to going to zero per cent,” she said.

Talking about the Universal Periodic Review recommendations, the Minister for Justice, Johnston Busingye, told participants that the follow-up phase is critical, pointing out that government would find it harder to deliver without the input of the civil society and other development partners.

“We will continue to prioritise inclusive participation and transparency as indispensable elements of the process. We are aware that it’s government’s obligation to protect, promote and preserve human rights but if non-governmental organisations did not show up to work with us, it would be a heavier obligation. Working on this with all willing stakeholders will result in a report that is broadly objective and agreeable,” he said.

This particular review follows the one done in November 2015, where 67 recommendations accepted by Rwanda in 2011 were looked at. During the second review, Rwanda accepted 50 recommendations to be implemented in four years.

Busingye said that in September 2016, the Ministry of Justice, together with other public institutions and civil society, adopted a roadmap to implement the 50 recommendations that the Government had accepted.

He added that yesterday’s meeting sought to evaluate progress in the implementation of that matrix six months after it was shared with concerned institutions.

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