Nine arrested for embezzling from cooperatives

A probe commissioned by the Office of the Prosecutor General has led to the arrest of nine leaders and members of various cooperatives in the country for alleged embezzlement, The New Times has learnt. The arrests follow a recent audit which found Rwf 889m and $65,000 stolen by either leaders or members of 20 cooperatives audited so far.

A probe commissioned by the Office of the Prosecutor General has led to the arrest of nine leaders and members of various cooperatives in the country for alleged embezzlement, The New Times has learnt.

The arrests follow a recent audit which found Rwf 889m and $65,000 stolen by either leaders or members of 20 cooperatives audited so far.

The special probe unit looking into the cases was formed a fortnight ago and is headed by Deputy Prosecutor General, Alphonse Hitiyaremye.

The suspects were arrested this week and are being detained at various police stations.

Prosecution spokesperson, Augustin Nkusi, confirmed the development when contacted on phone yesterday.

“Five of them are ready to refund the money totalling to Rwf 2.5 million,” Nkusi said. “Our team is closing in on others”.

He added that the suspects will be arraigned before court after ten days. “Accountability is very important to all leaders,” he added.

Hitiyaremye said it had become a habit for leaders and members of various cooperatives to divert funds for their own enrichment and leave poor members in cold.

“We cannot allow this kind of impunity. Even those who stole a coin will have to refund it,” Hitiyaremye warned.

“We have their identities and we know where to find them”.

Those arrested include, Jeanne Mukandamage, Claude Nzaramba, Odeth Mukamana (Codevram), Anastase Murego Andre Nzabamwita, and Boniface Uwimana (cogiproca).

Others are Innocent Hakuzimana (Corinyaburiba), Gilbert Kanyangira (Twibumbe Cocurirwa)

Meanwhile, Nkusi said that one Lydia Nkundwa who represented Fucorirwa later paid Rwf459,000 that she owed her cooperative and was subsequently released.

The probe team is also targeting cooperatives that include, Kopakabi (Rwamagana), Codace(Nyarugenge), Kirebe Kamate Zirakamwa(KKZ) (Nyagatare), Cavecuvi (Rusizi),  Pfunda Tea Farmers’/SACCO (Rubavu) and Isange in Rulindo district. 

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