South African MPs Visit Rwanda

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Members of the South Africa’s Western Cape Parliament yesterday paid a courtesy call on heads of the Rwanda bi-cameral parliament with whom they discussed relations between the two parliaments.

The President of the Senate, Bernard Makuza, told journalists after the meeting that the visiting MPs were in Rwanda on a mission to pick best practices from Rwanda.

“They are here on a fact-finding mission with special interest in how our parliament works. They were interested in how the Senate and the Lower House work together, what each specifically does, how they are linked in monitoring the government’s activities, e.t.c. They were impressed by our power-sharing system, how we fight divisionism, promote unity and advance dialogue,” he said.

Makuza said that there is a lot that both countries can learn from each other.

“Rwanda opened its borders and is keen on building great bi-lateral relations, sharing the country’s peace-building, Doing Business and security experiences,” he said.

The Head of the Southern Cape Delegation, Matlhodi Maseko, who is Chairperson of the Standing Committee on Human Settlement and Democratic Alliance, said that they were impressed with how parliamentary business is conducted in Rwanda, especially the work of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), which holds those in charge of public funds accountable.

“We are here for best practices so that we can borrow those that are applicable to our situation back home for the benefit of our people. I wish we had more time because there is a lot we can learn from here. To have a structure that is working in this country, holding everyone responsible for project funds accountable is quite brilliant. That is something that Rwanda is doing very well,” she said.

The vice chairperson of PAC, Theoneste Karenzi, told the visiting lawmakers that it has been a long journey for the country, which had to start from scratch in 1994 to set up systems.

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He, however, said that over the course of the last two decades, Rwanda had made tremendous gains.

“We have realised that we have somehow done well in terms of financial management and are now focusing on value for money. Is the money that is being disbursed going to the projects and doing what it’s supposed to do?’’

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