Crackdown nets more suspects at MININFRA

An accountant and a cashier at the Ministry of Infrastructure (MININFRA), were last Friday arrested along with their entrepreneur accomplice over an embezzlement case involving Rwf 9,533,000, the Prosecution has said.
Augustin Nkusi .
Augustin Nkusi .

An accountant and a cashier at the Ministry of Infrastructure (MININFRA), were last Friday arrested along with their entrepreneur accomplice over an embezzlement case involving Rwf 9,533,000, the Prosecution has said.

Richard Ruganintwari and Ancila Mukabutera allegedly paid the money to entrepreneur Theoneste Twahirwa for a service that would have cost less, the Prosecution spokesperson, Augustin Nkusi, told The New Times yesterday.

Nkusi said that it was not clear how cutting the grass in the area between the building of the Prime Minister’s Office and the new Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ building could have claimed close to Rwf 9.6million.

“They [the accused] were even unable to prove whether the tender was passed through competition,” he said in an exclusive interview at his office last evening.

The arrests followed a request by the Ombudsman’s Office last December which had concluded that “corruption was observed” in the way MININFRA’s funds were managed. In a letter to the Commissioner General of Police on December 29th, 2008, the Ombudsman had requested for a thorough investigation.

The accused are currently detained at the Remera Police Station as they await trial. They face over two years of imprisonment if convicted.

Gov’t war against corruption fought on different fronts
Meanwhile, police is holding a former executive at MININFRA over what the Ombudsman’s Office termed as ‘self-enrichment’ from abuse of office.

Tito Rutaremara’s organ discovered that Jean Damascene Hategekimana’s assets were not proportional to his official earnings at the ministry.

“Being rich is not a crime, but one’s sources of income should be clear,” the Prosecution’s spokesperson said as he revealed the official’s detention.

Hategekimana is said to be an owner of two houses and four cars among other assets that government claims he may have got out of being part of the procurement department during his service at MININFRA.

The Ombudsman leads an anti-corruption body that is made up of several other government agencies including the Rwanda National Police and the National Public Prosecutions Authority. The body reports to the Office of the President.

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