KIGALI - Police has since last month arrested six people accused of having tried to bribe traffic officers, after they were found violating several road safety rules.
Traffic Police chief, Assistant Commissioner of Police, John Bosco Kabera, confirmed the arrests in a press briefing at his office in Nyarugenge, yesterday, and added that they were all arrested around Kigali City.
“They were arrested by those traffic officers they tried to bribe who were brave enough to report to concerned authorities,” Kabera said.
Three of those arrested; Ignace Iryivuze, Francois Hitiyaremye and Emmanuel Bisengabagabo were arrested Wednesday night and are being held at Muhima police station while others are being detained in various police stations around the city.
Fred Gashayija, a traffic officer who arrested the trio at various intervals told The New Times that he had stopped them to check their driving documents.
“They each put a note of Rwf 1, 000 in their documents while handing them over to me because they knew they had violated some traffic rules that would result into penalties,” Gashayija said.
However, Iryivuze denied the accusations and said that he handed over the documents without knowing that there was some money in them.
“A friend of mine gave me that money and I put it in pocket where the documents were…but I was not bribing him as he alleges,” Iryivuze said.
Iryivuze allegedly committed the offence in the wee hours of the morning, en-route from Ngororero District.
He was driving a truck that had mechanical problems and packed with charcoal.
Hitiyaremye accused Gashayija of involving him in a crime he never committed. “I did not give him money. He just ordered me to get out of the car and he got hold of Rwf 1,000 in his hands alleging that I had given it to him which was not the case,” Hitiyaremye said.
He said that this is the third time Gashayija had penalized him even when he was not in the wrong.
Kabera said that this is one of the methods that drivers use when they are in contravention of traffic regulations.
The arrests are the first of the kinds since traffic police was implicated in last year’s ombudsman report as the most corrupt institution in the country.
Kabera said that the national police has since embarked on sensitizing police officers in the fight against corruption, which he said is now yielding positive results.
“This is determination by Rwanda National Police, which embarked on a vigorous campaign to sensitize the police officers about how accepting bribes will endanger the country’s economy, security and also their careers,” Kabera said.