Citizens Urged to Hold Leaders Accountable on Budget Execution

Government has urged the general public to pick interest in the way the national budget is used, which will help them hold accountable leaders who are entrusted with these finances to implement different projects.

This was said during the presentation of the Citizen Budget Guidebook for the fiscal year 2022/2023 by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning on August 16.

The citizen’s guide is a simplified booklet published in three languages (Kinyarwanda, English, and French) aimed at explaining to citizens in a basic way, how the government mobilizes and allocates resources among national priorities agreed during the planning and budgeting processes.

The guide also provides feedback to citizens on their ideas and contributions provided during the planning process through different community dialogues and platforms.

Reheema Namutebi, Director General of National Budget in the ministry, said the booklet is designed to help the layman understand the priority projects the country intends to implement, how they are financed and the sources of financing.

“When they are shown detailed aspects of the budget allocated to development projects they need, it attracts them more into getting involved in its planning for the next period.”

Emmanuel Safari, Executive Secretary, CLADHO, a local NGO that promotes human rights, said that citizens are now committed to getting their voices heard when it comes to planning and holding their leaders accountable.

Contrary to how it was years back, they are more aware of their rights and can question how projects are being implemented at an estimated level of 60 percent, he added.

Emmy Ngabonziza, Executive Administrator of Nyarugenge District, said: “This reminds us of our responsibility to explain well to the citizens about budget matters, show them what their inputs contributed to and different tangible results in our neighbourhoods as well as their role in protecting what has been achieved while making them of good use.”

Merard Mpabwanamaguru, the Vice-Mayor in charge of Urbanisation and Infrastructure, City of Kigali, pointed out that citizens being aware and involved in the planning and implementation of the national budget allows them to protect whatever gains were made.

“No one can destroy a given infrastructure in the country under the watch of these citizens because they know the value thereof since they are the ones who demanded it, hence they are the watchdogs of the country’s development.”

The total budget for fiscal year 2022/23 is Rwf4.6 trillion with an increase of Frw217.8 billion represented by 5% compared to the 2021/2022 fiscal year revised Budget of Frw4,440.6 billion.

The budget draws from 57 percent of domestic resources, approximately Rwf2,654.9 billion, whereas external financing accounts for 43 percent of total budget, with grants totaling Rwf906.9 billion, while loans will amount to Rwf651.5 billion.

Overall, domestically mobilized resources plus the external loans which the country will repay, will account for 80.5 percent of the country’s proposed spending in 2022/2023.

“I take this opportunity to call upon all citizens for effective participation in budget implementation and monitoring of related programs and projects through their different forums, which highly informs subsequent national planning and budgeting processes,” stated Uzziel Ndagijimana, the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning in the booklet.

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