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Kigali: Hot Debate Focuses on Corruption, Nepotism, and Favoritism in the Public Institutions

Gasamagera Wellars, The Director General of RMI

 

Lack of meritocracy, nepotism, favoritism, misuse of human resources management positions, collisions between HR managers and their bosses, non-qualified examiners, etc. … all these have resulted in a loss of 1.5 billion Rwandan francs in three years, as the figures of the study conducted by the Ministry of the Public Service and Labour (MIFOTRA) indicated.

The Study was conducted in order to identify why the number of Job candidates appeals went up in past five years and it was noted that this is due to “violations of the laws governing public service employment and corruption as well as emotional grading favoring unskilled candidates.”

On Wednesday, June 13th, 2018 MIFOTRA, through the National Commission of the Public Service, met all Public Institutions in a Consultative Meeting which had an objective of identifying how they can improve the recruitment of employees in the public functions and the good management of existing employees at all levels, from top levels down to sector level among others.

“Corruption, Favoritism, and Nepotism” when heard by the newly graduated university boys and girls, you will not be surprised by the answers like “We are familiar with such tricks in Public Services recruitment systems, however, with the optimism that there will be a day when “We too would have the “FAVOR” to be recruited”

Why the terms “Corruptions”, “Favor”, “Nepotism”, “Recruitment errors” and not “Meritocracy”?

In 2017 at least 30 public institutions were probed over corruption charges.

For Rwandan Minister of Public Service and Labour, Rwanyindo Kayirangwa Fanfan “Fovoritism, nepotism and emotional feelings in recruitment processes must stop in the public service Institutions.”

“What you are doing today will have negative impacts on future generations “, Minister Rwanyindo told Public Institutions Bosses and HR managers.

Who should be blamed for such malfeasances and abuse of laws governing public service recruitment? Who is responsible for unskilled examiners tasked to hunt qualified Public Servants while they are non-qualified? Are there solutions for these problems considered as minor business in the nepotistic eyes but very shocking to an increasing number of jobseekers?

Dr. Vuningoma James

These are some of the questions that arose when heads of government institutions and the human resources managers were debating these issues while at the same time providing possible solutions to eradicate such behaviors which contradict the cultural heritage and Rwandan values as highlighted by Dr. James Vuningoma, the Executive Secretary of Rwanda Academy of Language and Culture (RALC) who was among the participants in this Consultative Meeting.

Apart from focusing on recruitment, not only that was on the menu of the discussions, there was also the problem of mismanagement of government resources, both human and financial which result in financial losses and repetitive employees’ turnover among Public Institutions.

In the beginning it was shown that the Government lost 1.5 billion Rwandan francs in the Public Service Sector due to various reasons.

As one Kanamugire from MIFOTRA has shown, 1.5 billion loss was recorded during the period of 2012 to 2015.

Though participants were anticipating much higher than the recorded loss, however this amount of money, whether little or much, can be utilized in building new schools for children, buying beds for patients in the hospitals, paying health insurances for thousands of poor families, connecting citizens to clean water among others.

Fidele Ndayisaba speaking to Minister Rwanyindo

As an additional highlights to this problem, Fidel Ndayisaba, Executive Secretary of the National Commission for Unity and Reconciliation, added “It is very shocking to see an institution of the same government, which hires the same company and later you find the same company in the same government institutions charge different costs while we use the same budget from the same national treasury, and for me, I see this happening because of our recklessness.”

Here, Ndayisabe gave an example of what you will see, for example, the same company pricing a district of about 800,000 Rwandan francs for recruitment work and when it comes to MIFOTRA for example “This Company raises prices to one million Rwandan francs for the same job and so on”

For Gasamagera Wellars, the Director General of Rwanda Management Institute (RMI) “The Ministry should see if there could be a transfer system where an employee can be transferred to another public institution where he/she can perform better rather than starting new recruitment process or sacking him or her.”

The Executive Secretary of the National Commission of Public Service, Angelina Muganza revealed that “The Commission is going to put more efforts in overseeing the professionalism of Public Service employees while at the same time ensure public servants are selected and supported to act on the highest principles of equity, transparency, good governance and integrity.”

She also noted that the E-recruitment system will be improved to tackle those issues.

Apart from Nepotism, Misuse of resources both human and financial, corruption and favouritism, other challenges that the National Commission of Public Services is facing include overwhelming tasks of MIFOTRA HR team, little knowledge of the laws among employers, mind-sets and resistance of Employees, lack of trainings including induction courses to newly recruited public servants, low performance of public servants, etc. …

Participants told the Minister of Labor: “There used to be management meetings where such challenges were discussed but they are no longer there.”

They ask “How can you hold someone accountable when you have never mentored or coached him / her”
“If that does not change, we will continue to blame the employees while they are innocent.”

Minister Rwanyindo

In her concluding remarks, Minister Rwanyindo noted, “People need to change their mindset that the public service is a relaxing place.”

She calls upon HR Managers and Public Institutions Bosses “To collectively abide by the laws” adding that “this will translate into building a strong nation with a solid foundation.”

 

 

 

 

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