Clouds still hang over medics’ abortion case

•Whistleblower still on suspension Confusion reigns in the case where Dr. Tatien Bucyana, the former director of Nyanza Hospital, and three others are accused of abortion.
Ntawukuliryayo.
Ntawukuliryayo.

•Whistleblower still on suspension

Confusion reigns in the case where Dr. Tatien Bucyana, the former director of Nyanza Hospital, and three others are accused of abortion.

The quartet was arrested by Nyanza Police in late June for their alleged role in an abortion case, and was put on remand by the Busasamana Court of Lower Instance.

According to last Thursday’s ruling by Busasamana Court President, Vincent Kamanzi, the suspects were remanded for a month to allow further investigations.

This was after a preliminary hearing was held in camera on July 9. Bucyana is jointly accused together with Dr Chikulu P. Pole, Theobard Mbatuyimana, and Marie A. Nzasengamungu.

However, a May 23 police investigation report signed by the Chief Superintendent, Faustin Ntirushwa, accused Alphonse Ntirenganya, a Nyanza hospital nurse who was suspended  by the Minister of Health, for having made false accusations against the medics.

Ntirushwa, the Regional Police Commander of the Southern Province, revealed that Ntirenganya, the whistle blower, falsely accused Bucyana of having carried out an abortion on Nzasengamungu, a former staff at the same hospital.

In his May 15 suspension letter to Ntirenganya, the Health Minister, Dr Jean Damascene Ntawukuliryayo, blamed him of ‘stealing’ and dissemination of a patient’s file. The minister, however, didn’t mention the patient’s name.

But in his petition to the Ombudsman’s Office, the suspended nurse stressed that the file belonged to Nzasengamungu who allegedly underwent the abortion under the assumed names of Marie Nzayisenga.

In Ntirenganya’s suspension letter, Minister Ntawukuliryayo promises to ban the latter from the nursing career for life if the ongoing police investigations found him liable of the said offence.

Contacted on Monday, Ntawukuliryayo emphasised that he was still sticking to his word as police carry out their investigations.

Asked what exactly Ntirenganya is accused of, the minister said, “He is accused of exposing a file of a patient to strangers, but not for presenting it to the police.” 

The nurse has appealed to the Ombudsman, arguing that the minister’s decision to stop him from working was because of his tipping police about the alleged abortion.

“For the Health minister to declare that I was suspended because of what I did is a total mockery and ignoring of the truth,” Ntirenganya writes in the petition. 

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