Africa-Press – Rwanda. The Chamber of Deputies summoned four ministers in order to respond to challenges that have been derailing development in their respective sectors.
The Lower Chamber of Parliament made the decision on Friday, May 6, 2022 as it adopted a report by MPs on the countrywide tours they made from March 12 to 30 this year, to look at citizens’ living conditions, and assess the implementation of development projects.
Ministers in question were that of Infrastructure; Education, ICT and Innovation; with emphasis on Gender and Family Promotion.
The issues in question mostly exposed challenges in families, especially conflicts between spouses.
While presenting the report, Edda Mukabagwiza, Deputy Speaker in charge of Parliamentary Affairs said that lawmakers interacted with over 800 families challenged with conflicts. They also wanted to understand root causes, in line with helping the Chamber of Deputies to monitor Government strategies in preventing and solving them.
This, she said, is intended to build prosperous, strong and resilient families.
While sharing some of the family issues, Mukabagwiza said that there were families with conflicts in all sectors of the country, adding that some of them were moderate while others had reached extreme levels.
In most cases, she said, family conflicts were attributed to misunderstanding on how to manage family assets, concubinage, adultery, ignoring marital responsibilities, drunkenness, poverty, domestic violence, inflexibility, and not seeking forgiveness amongst spouses.
Other reasons include wasting family assets, illegal marriages, and different beliefs such as those related to religion.
Also, there are issues of mistrust and lack of dialogue between the partners.
“There is also an identified issue of people who were released after serving their terms in prisons. But when they return to their families, they fail to live in harmony with their partners,” Mukabagwiza said.
The New Times understands that there are conflicts among some families, where, upon completing their sentences, men (husbands) get on bad terms with their wives who gave birth to children while they were still in prison.
“It has been realised that family conflicts have an impact on its members, especially children who do not receive the right parenting; resulting in some dropping out of school, running away from their families, and indulging in drug abuse, among others,” she said.
Sometimes, she said that the quarrels between the mother and the father might have a psychological effect on the children.
Minister of Gender and Family Promotion
Given the situation, the Parliament decided to summon the Minister of Gender and Family Promotion to provide explanations to the issues affecting the Rwandan family, especially spouses.
Minister of Infrastructure
The Chamber of Deputies summoned the Minister of Infrastructure to respond to the low water and electricity access rate to households and schools in some districts, in line with achieving the Government’s universal clean water and electricity connection under the National Strategy for Transformation (2017-2024).
Some districts have electricity coverage of 43 or 44 percent, which poses a question about the universal electrification target by 2024, Mukabagwiza said.
For water access, she said, some districts are also still far from achieving the universal access target by 2024 as they have 43 percent, or 56 percent.
Also, the Lower House wants the Minister to respond to the issue of many bridges on different roads in the country that were damaged and made them impassable.
“Many bridges and roads were damaged and some of them are impassable, which hinders the economic cooperation between sectors and districts in question,” Mukabagwiza said.
Minister of Education
Parliament wants the Minister of Education to appear before its plenary in order to give explanations to various issues identified in constructed schools [some newly built schools have not yet started working which implies a delay], school management concern, and the problem of insufficient teaching aids.
Other issues are the maintenance of school infrastures, and the concerns in school feeding programme.
MPs exposed that many science teaching schools do not have laboratories to support practical courses, and even those who possess them, have inadequate equipment needed for their effective operation.
Also, students with disabilities [visual impairment] lack braille to help them in their learning.
On the issue about school feeding, it was highlighted that the contribution of parents to the feeding of their children at school is still small as they lack means.
As a result, some schools decided to provide food only to students who were able to pay their contributions, it was revealed.
The Government contributes Rwf56 per day to school feeding for each student in primary and secondary school. Schools and Members of Parliament have been indicating that this amount is too small compared to the current food prices which are high.
Minister of ICT and Innovation
The Minister of ICT and Innovation was summoned to provide explanations to the telephone communication issue – lack of network in some parts of the country, and network interference (from other countries) in Rwanda’s border districts experienced in some parts of the country.
Another issue the Parliament wants the IC Minister to explain, is the lack of data integration among public institutions that use the Rwanda civil registration and vital statistics systems (CRVS).