Ten hospital staff arrested over misuse of public funds

Ten hospital staff at Kirehe, Nyanza and Nyamasheke district hospitals were on May 11 arrested over misappropriation of hospital funds.

Ten hospital staff at Kirehe, Nyanza and Nyamasheke district hospitals were on May 11 arrested over misappropriation of hospital funds.

The suspects, who include either current or former hospital directors, accountants, administrators and supervisors, are accused of embezzling public funds estimated at Rwf800 million, Police said yesterday.

Five of those arrested and under investigation at Kirehe hospital include former director, Dr Jean Nepomscene Uwiringiyemungu, Zophonie Gapingi Hakizimana (hospital administrator), Angelique Mukantagara (accountant), Thadee Niyonzima (supervisor), and Deogene Dukuzeyezu, the hospital nutritionist, Police said in a statement.

“In Kirehe, investigations have since unearthed forged documents that the accused allegedly used,” the statement reads in part.

At Kibogora hospital in Nyamasheke, three staff, including medical director Dr Damien Nsabimana, Aimable Kadogo (administrator), and Bernadette Izabiliza, an accountant, have been arrested.

At Nyanza hospital, an accountant and former hospital administrator, Damarce Mukamana, and former administrator of the hospital, Placidie Umutesi, have also been taken into custody following an audit carried out by the Ministry of Health.

Police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner of Police Celestin Twahirwa said, “this is part of the Rwanda National Police routine duties – to fight and prevent all sorts of crimes of which corruption or embezzlement of public funds is a top priority.”

“We attach a lot of importance to fighting all crimes. If information is brought forward, either through audits or other means, for instance, honest patriotic members of public, that someone is involved in graft-related tendencies, we act fast,” he added.

Twahirwa said that fighting corruption remains part of the Force’s top priorities, which is why it created an anti-corruption and public fund embezzlement directorate.

"We work with other institutions, including those responsible for audit, to make sure that no embezzlement case goes unpunished," he said.

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