By Elias Hakizimana
Rwanda Energy Group (REG) on this Saturday September 9, 2017 said they have taken measures to tackle all the challenges which caused inefficient services to their clients countrywide including bribe and electricity blackouts.
This has been communicated in Kigali through a press conference with REG, Energy Utility Corporation Limited (EUCL).
The presser was held after a discussion between energy group employees and staff, Minister For Infrastructure, police, and the Auditor General on how REG should improve the services it offers to its clients.
REG’s Chairman of board of directors, Prof. Manasseh Mbonye highlighted that the new strategy will see effective fulfilment of responsibilities and improvement on service delivery countrywide.
“We are now coming from far away, one of improvements we made so far is like we nowadays do not have electricity blackouts like in the past; we have been considerably working on that. Another thing we did is good organization of our employees which also toped up our services,” Mbonye said.
Mbonye said that despite this move, REG still has a long journey to go in providing profitable services to the population by establishing ethical framework for it’s workers and build their capacities to improve their profession.
He said that to date some of REG employees suspected of committing financial crimes, were arrested by police, and that investigations are still underway to establish the extent of the issue and appropriate action.
He notes that 11 steps are being taken to improve REG’s services.
“We know that the services we offer are key to the country’s Economic development and citizen’s welfare, we have responsibilities to serve commercial services and industries which contribute a lot to the country’s economy, REG has substantial responsibilities and it is the reason why we want to improve our services countrywide,” Mbonye noted.
According to Ron Weiss, new REG Chief Executive Officer, many things are going to change despite the challenges he has met.
“Starting this job position of CEO of REG few months ago, I am facing a lot of challenges, financial challenges, technical challenges, improving the service, development and also the corruption issues that we want to deal with, and sincerely to avoid them,” Weiss said.
“So, we call today all the workers of REG, EUCL and EDCL, the two subsidiaries, I shared my remarks to the auditor general, the chairman, we invited the police, to explain to all the audience in open discussions with workers and the minister of infrastructure, from today REG is going though a different direction, and we will be zero tolerant for this kind of activities inside REG,” he added.RON WEISS, CEO-REG(left) and Prof.Manasseh Mbonye, REG Chairman board of Directors charting during the press conference today in Kigali (COURTESY PHOTO)
“We are calling the public to support us to prevent these activities and to provide better service to the public. Our main target is to give better services to all people of Rwanda, we are building some stations, connection lines, generation power plants, and we are providing access to the people, we will reduce the blackouts we need to improve and we are going to do it,” Weiss said.
Maj. Eng Kalisa Jean Claude, EUCL Managing Director said that in the last two years, 10 employees were sacked due to corruption crimes and emphasized that they will not tolerate any kind of corruption.
He noted that whoever will be caught involved in corruption, will be sacked, pointing out that the institution will deal with consequences that might follow.
In the last two weeks, former EDCL-MD Kamanzi and other employees were arrested over corruption suspect but the case is still under police investigation.
According to the African bribery index report 2017, Rwanda is still the country with lowest corruption incidences in the region, but the highest probability of paying a bribe recorded in Rwanda was 18.1% at utilities (water and electricity) followed by 15.5% recorded at the Police.
Talking about energy targets, Weiss said that the country targets to provide more power to the population by 2020 and achieve 100 percent by 2024.
“Part of the plans is to increase the off-grid power connection and reach the target of 100 percent. Off-grid energy grows at around 4 percent every year, and we want to increase it at 8 percent or even 12 percent,” Weiss added.