HUYE - The president and treasurer of a cooperative society of motor cycle transporters (COTTAMOHU) operating in Huye district have been arrested by Police over alleged embezzlement of the society’s funds amounting to over Rwf43million.
Apollinaire Gakombe, the president and Jean Hakizimana the treasurer were arrested recently and their files have been forwarded to prosecution, according to Police.
Cooperative members suspected foul play when the president (Gakombe) offered to resign his position in February this year, citing personal reasons.
“He said he was resigning his position but could not produce a report on the status of the cooperative,” said Jean Paul Bihusi, the interim president of the cooperative with 268 members.
“We solicited for help from the Rwanda Cooperative Agency to conduct a financial audit. The report has revealed massive fraud in the cooperative,” he added.
Only Rwf83 million out of cash amounting to over Rwf 120 million belonging to the society could be traced, according to sources who undertook the preliminary audit.
Gakombe is also accused of a drawing a salary of Rwf90,000 per month contrary to the rules and regulations that govern the cooperative.
Cooperative members allege that their president among other crimes unlawfully sold to members, jackets donated by an insurance company- CORAR and the National Aids Control Commission (CNLS).
“We bought jackets at Rwf7,000 each yet they were given to the cooperative as promotional material,” said John Gatera, a cooperative member.
The former president, in the name of the cooperative is said to have struck a deal with a businessman to supply members with motorcycles on credit with an aim of enriching himself.
“Each member was supposed to pay an extra Rwf300,000 to benefit from the loan facility. This money was supposed to go to the account of the cooperative but the president chose to pocket it,” added Bihusi.
Other allegations leveled against the outgoing official included committing the society into entering a deal with a driving school without the consent of the members.
“He bought two second hand cars at an inflated cost of Rwf8million through credit issued supposedly to our society contrary to laid down norms,” Bihusi said.
Each cooperative member is said to have contributed Rwf3,750 towards the construction of a house for a vulnerable genocide survivor in Mpare Cell but the former president only delivered Rwf100,000.
The former president is also alleged to have collected Rwf2,000 for membership cards in 2008 but none has been delivered to date.
“We paid more Rwf2,000 to access cards provided by the Rwanda Cooperative Agency(RCA) but they have never been delivered,” said Gatera.
An audit report on the state of the cooperative will be delivered to cooperative members during a general assembly expected to be held May 19, according to a source from RCA.