The role of social protection (initiatives) is to lift the citizens out of poverty. When you do not see them improving their lives you wonder what happened,” he stated.
Shyaka stated that the developments suggest that either the beneficiaries misused the money or did not receive it at all, signalling possible cases of embezzlement of funds, especially under Microfinance Institutions and Savings and Credit Cooperatives (SACCOs).
The minister highlighted, among other persistent problems, the delays in disbursing the money to the beneficiaries and leaders who deny Sacco members access to loans.
Meanwhile, the beneficiaries were also challenged to work hard if they are to wean themselves off dependency.
“It is not right that a person can hope to live under government support all their life. They should work harder and make progress,” he said, pointing out that there was an exception to the ageing persons and those with disability.
The Mayor of Kirehe District, Gerald Muzungu, said some people were mismanaging the resources.
“Some leaders had inappropriate behaviour. They were penalised and now there are some noticeable changes,” he said.
Fulgence Niyonzima, the district director in Charge of Social Protection, said; “We cannot say that all of them (beneficiaries) use the money properly, there are those who mismanage it, but what we do is to encourage them to embrace a better management of the support,” he explained.
He added; “We have even put that in our performance contracts, that we would always encourage them to try to invest the money, for example, in livestock.”
District officials said that every year they earmark Rwf400 million for SACCOs to support vulnerable families.
However, last year, 1,800 people borrowed Rwf200 million from SACCOs, meaning only half the amount that was used.
“Many people in these categories (I and II) do not like to apply for loans,” Niyonzima complained, adding that “What we want is that they should be taking all the money [earmarked for loans], but only a small number apply for it.”
The latest statistics show that Kirehe has around 360,000 people.