KIGALI - TRAC-Plus, a research centre under the Ministry of Health, has uncovered a serious scam involving hiring of vehicles to transport its employees at inflated rates, it has emerged.
A source at Trac plus told this newspaper on Thursday that the internal scam has been going on undetected for months and people in the finance department are suspected to have been behind it.
Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Agency (RURA) recommends that government institutions hire vehicles to transport their employees in the field at varying rates depending on the distance.
For instance, moving employees from Kigali to upcountry, transporting agencies are supposed to be paid between Rwf 69, 000 and 72,000 by the institution per trip.
Transporting agencies only charge Rwf 30,000 for the services they render within the city.
Management at Trac-plus has, however, discovered that they have been paying more than what is recommended by RURA.
According to our source, the finance department at the research centre used to present a false picture of cash paid on transporting agencies.
“Even when the services were conducted within and around Kigali, documents would show cash expenditure for upcountry trips,” the source adds.
When contacted, the Acting Director General of Trac-plus, Dr. Corrine Karema, confirmed that the Director of Finance and Administration, Jean Marie Vianney Karangwa, had been suspended to allow investigations.
“But it should be noted that it’s not the current DAF who is responsible for the mess. He just took over from someone else so it is more of an inherited problem from former officials,” Kalema explained in an interview with The NewTimes.
She said like her, Karangwa is new at the research centre and could not have detected the mess in the short time he has spent at work.
Regarding circumstances under which the case came to light, Karema adds that this happened at a time when the suspended DAF (Karangwa) had presented the cheque demanding payment for a certain transporting agency.
“When I crosschecked the supporting documents, they were not adding up to the transactions. Those who made Kigali trips were demanding the same money like those who had offered upcountry transport services,” she explained.
She revealed Trac plus had initiated investigations to establish who was behind the scam. Karema also confirmed that the mess had been in existence for “some time.”