Rwanda: Government said to lose billions fraudulent fuel deals
Posted by African Press International on June 24, 2008
Kigali (Rwanda) – New details have emerged showing how billions of taxpayers? money was lost through shady fuel deals and irresponsible handling of Government fuel reserves.
The Auditor General Evelyn Kamagaju, who first raised the issue of mismanagement of Government fuel stocks in her 2006 report ? sparking nearly a two-month inquiry by a parliamentary ad hoc commission ? has now released new information that reveals the rot that has been going on in the fuel sector.
In a May 14, 2008 letter addressed to Senate President Dr. Vincent Biruta and the Speaker Chamber of Deputies, Alfred Mukezamfura, Kamagaju spilled the beans on a number of deals that have made Government incur heavy losses or likely to suffer more through illegal marriages with oil companies.
?On 2 November, 2005, cabinet agreed that Kobil Rwanda Oil Company leases state oil depots at Gatsata and buys Shell petrol stations. Cabinet further agreed that the said leasing and purchase would be subjected to negotiations between Kobil Rwanda and the Rwanda Government. However, I did not see any evidence of negotiations between Kobil and the Rwanda Government,? reads part of the letter whose copy The New Times obtained.
The letter was copied to the President, Prime Minister, Chief Justice and the Prosecutor General. A seven-member Chamber of Deputies ad hoc commission led by Juvenal Nkusi this week confirmed that there was no agreement between the Government and Kobil, despite the latter having acquired Shell shares in PetroRwanda ? a former state-owned petroleum company.
Both Kamagaju and the Nkusi commission expressed worries that in the event of any losses on the part of Kobil, the Government was likely to suffer the consequences since Kobil Rwanda Oil Company is a ghost company by Rwandan laws.
?From documents available, including confirmation from the Nyarugenge Higher Instance Court, legally, Kobil Rwanda Oil Company does not exist,? the AG said in her letter.
Officially, Shell shares in PetroRwanda were bought by Kenya Oil Company (Kenol), only for the latter to put the management of its Rwanda businesses into the hands of Kobil, which is said to be its subsidiary.
?Currently, Kobil manages the Gatsata Depot but it is not clear under what arrangements. There is no agreement between the Government of Rwanda and Kobil regarding the management of Gatsata depot and the management of Government fuel stock,? Kamagaju said.
She added that it was strange that Kobil, a company that is unregistered, is using Shell tax file/TIN number, adding that ?it appears Shell initiated the process of selling its business in Rwanda immediately after expiry of its licence.?
api.source.The New Times (Rwanda), by James Munyaneza