Ombudsman staffer arrested for bribery

According to available information, the suspect is being pursued for a corruption-related case he was allegedly involved in eight years ago, before he started work at the Office of Ombudsman.
An investigator in a special unit in charge of corruption in the Office of the Ombudsman for abetting a crime he is supposed to be helping investigate and curtail. (File)

Officials on Thursday confirmed the arrest of Theoneste Komeza, an investigator in a special unit in charge of corruption in the Office of the Ombudsman, who is being pursued for abetting a crime he is supposed to be helping investigate and curtail.

According to available information, the suspect is being pursued for a corruption-related case he was allegedly involved in eight years ago, before he started work at the Office of Ombudsman.

It is alleged that Komeza who was hired by the anti-graft czar mid last year, allegedly committed the crime back in 2011 while he was still serving as an officer with Rwanda National Police.

When his current employers got wind of this, they decided the matter should be investigated.

In an interview with The New Times, Jean Pierre Nkurunziza, the spokesperson of the Office of the Ombudsman, confirmed the arrest.

Asked when exactly they decided to act, Nkurunziza said that it was “when we got information that he was a police man and yet it was not included in his CV.” 

The spokesperson of the National Public Prosecution Authority (NPPA), Faustin Nkusi, told The New Times that they have already received the file and are analyzing the facts before they can either charge the suspect in court or release him.

“We received the file on 11th March 2019. We are still working on it by analyzing the facts and the charges. We will take a decision in five days as the new law requires.

“The decision will be either submit it to court requesting for preventive detention, or release him.”

Last year, a new penal law determining offences and penalties in general – which replaced the previous penal code – was published in the official gazette.

In the new legal framework, among other changes, the crime of corruption was reviewed to remove ambiguity under the previous law where there were instances where offences would be called “corruption” while others were called “offences related to corruption,” a situation that often caused unwarranted confusion and feebleness in the crusade against corruption.

All these – embezzlement, bribery, unjustified wealth and many such others are all corruption – were merged to imply the same thing – corruption – and will carry higher fines and punishments.

Government also moved to make corruption imprescriptible, meaning that it cannot be taken away by lapse of time, meaning that if someone is being pursued for corruption, the offense does not die before the suspected offender.

 

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