Church pastor in fund mismanagement scam

MUSANZE-Pastor Jonas Matabaro, of the Evangelical Restoration Church in Musanze district who was arrested last week by police, for alleged mismanagement of funds will appear in court on Wednesday to be formally charged.

MUSANZE-Pastor Jonas Matabaro, of the Evangelical Restoration Church in Musanze district who was arrested last week by police, for alleged mismanagement of funds will appear in court on Wednesday to be formally charged.

Pastor Matabaro was arrested along with two other employees of Compassion International; Elie Irakiza and Christophe Bizimana.

The three were arrested  for allegedly mismanaging Rwf7m which was part of the money donated by Compassion International to support cooperatives under the restoration church’s community outreach programmes.

The Prosecution Spokesperson, Augustine Nkusi, told The New Times that the trio will be charged with mismanagement of funds and falsification of documents.

According to the prosecution, a financial audit conducted by Compassion International in November 2009, showed that over Rwf7m was missing, which prompted the prosecution to launch an investigation into the matter.

However, when contacted Moses Matabaro, the accused pastor’s family member said that the employees of Compassion International should be held accountable, and insisted that a definitive audit indicating that the missing funds in question  was misused had not been done.

He said that the first audit showed that Rwf7m was missing and after careful assessment, it was later discovered that there had been a mistake, bringing down the figure to Rwf3m.    

Sources said Pastor Matabaro, a renowned local pastor was arrested in his capacity as the overall coordinator of the activities of the programs supported by Compassion International and as a  signatory to account for the outreach programme.

According to the penal code, mismanagement of funds attracts up to 5 year  jail sentence while falsification of documents attracts up to 10 years on conviction.

Compassion International supports local cooperatives especially the association of women living with HIV/Aids, orphans and the poor, through the evangelical Restoration Church.

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