Construction of a dam
on the Rukarara River,
forming part of the
hydropower project in
Rwanda
Kigali, Rwanda — ESI-AFRICA.COM — 07 November 2011 –  The Rwandan parliament has appointed a seven-member committee of enquiry to investigate suspected wrong-doing in the construction of both the Rukarara Hydropower plant and the Mutobo water project in Rwanda.

Daily newspaper “The New Times” reports that the team, which has made an immediate start, is headed by Evode Kalima, the deputy chairperson of the standing committee on public accounts.

“I welcome this task as it is part of my duties, especially as a member of the committee on public accounts, which digs out and analyses the way public finances are used,” said Kalima.

This development follows intense parliamentary debate about generation of electricity in Rwanda in general, and at the two projects in particular. MPs expressed genuine concern with regard to the handling of the two projects, including such issues as mysterious procedures, through which certain deals were done with private companies, the newspaper said.

It is clear that, in some cases, there was no due diligence carried out, which could explain why the government may have incurred losses in particular instances. The enquiry is essential to rectify past mistakes and take measures to avert similar cases in the future, it added.

The team has been given 30 days to complete their mission, but could request more time at that stage if necessary. It will also investigate the Ministry of Infrastructure and other departments concerned with the projects, as well as the role of the Ministry of Finance.

The probe team comes after parliament on Wednesday unanimously concluded that explanations by the executive regarding suspected failures in the country’s energy and water sectors were not entirely satisfying.