20 questioned over funds
The Office of Prosecutor General has lined up several government officials to be investigated for alleged mismanagement of public funds, The Sunday Times has learnt.
So far, 22 have been interrogated and some arrested in connection to the 2009/10 Auditor General’s report, which indicated that about Rwf 9.7 billion was unaccountable for.
When contacted yesterday, Alain Mukurarinda, the spokesman of the National Public Prosecutions Authority, confirmed the development and said those found culpable will be prosecuted.
“Investigations started Thursday this week and they are moving on well. But at this stage, I cannot give the names of people interrogated or arrested,” Mukurarinda said in a telephone interview.
“The investigations will soon be extended to all departments implicated,” Mukurarinda revealed, adding “every case is handled by two prosecutors.
Those quizzed are from the ministries of Infrastructure and Education. Others are from National information Office (Orinfor), Common Development Fund (CDF), Kigali City Council and former Students Financing Agency of Rwanda (SFAR).
Information from the Office of Prosecutor General indicates that a procurement officer in the Ministry of Infrastructure was picked up and is now in jail over alleged abuse of office.
“Something went bad during tendering processes. He needs to explain,” says Mukurarinda. At Orinfor, an accountant is also in jail for allegedly bending the rules. One unnamed former employee at the former SFAR managed to escape.
James Kamanzi, the Permanent Secretary in Ministry of Infrastructure, admitted that some officials, many of whom had since moved to other departments under the same ministry, were being interrogated in relation to PAC’s report.
“I don’t really have the names, but there is one person from the internal tender committee who said he had been summoned to CID to explain issues related to a tender that exceeded the normal 20 percent which is legally acceptable,” Kamanzi said.
Prosecutors have also visited Kicukiro and Nyarugenge Districts where procurement officers and accountants were questioned. Most of the cases are related to shady tendering.
Tomorrow, the investigators will head to Kirehe and Ngoma districts in the Eastern Province in an effort to recover public funds.
Last month, the Lower Chamber’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) tabled its report on the loss of the Rwf 9.7 billion.
PAC Chairperson, Juvenal Nkusi, informed the House that lack of timely reporting on the status of public funds, public institutions’ hidden bank accounts, and expenses that lacked supporting documents, illegal payments, mismanagement of public property among others, were the reasons for the loss.
Contact email: james.karuhanga[at]newtimes.co.rw