Officials from the Ministry of Internal Affairs are carrying out investigations to establish whether the two juvenile prisoners who had been detained at Nyagatare prison, died of food poisoning.
The New Times has also learnt that the line ministry has rejected a new request by the supplier to feed Butare, Kigali and Nyagatare prisons.
According to our sources, the first contract to supply food to the three prisons has expired, and the ministry was in the process of renewing it.
“It’s not yet clear whether the prisoners died because of expired food. We are still investigating the matter,” Internal Affairs Minister, Sheikh Musa Fazil Harerimana, said yesterday.
He said the supplier showed them papers from Rwanda Bureau of Standards clearing his food.
“But we shall check whether the supplier’s papers are genuine among other things,” Fazil went on, before dismissing claims that the supplier was on the run.
“We talked to the supplier but he says his food has no problem. That if it were expired food, other prisoners from Butare or Kigali would have died since they are sharing the same food,” Fazil explained by phone.
He revealed that his Ministry was working hand in hand with the Health Ministry to: “get to the root cause of the matter.”
The New Times wrote on Monday that two juvenile prisoners died last week, while thirteen others were hospitalized at Nyagatare hospital, over suspected food poisoning.
The deceased were identified as Samuel Ndayizeye and another one only identified as Habimana aged 15 and 16 respectively.
When The New Times visited some of the patients at the hospital on Sunday, one of the doctors who treated the inmates confirmed that some symptoms reflected food poisoning.
Freddy Sangala, an internal medic and head of medical staff at Nyagatare hospital had earlier said the inmates had respiratory difficulties, constipation, bleeding and eye problems.