Former Karongi mayor Kayumba detained

Police on Friday arrested the former mayor of the western district of Karongi, Bernard Kayumba, hardly a day after his resignation from the top district position. Kayumba resigned on Thursday morning, citing personal reasons.
Bernard Kayumba.
Bernard Kayumba.

Police on Friday arrested the former mayor of the western district of Karongi, Bernard Kayumba, hardly a day after his resignation from the top district position.

Kayumba resigned on Thursday morning, citing personal reasons.

However, The New Times later learnt that at the time of his resignation, Police was already investigating a possible misuse of public funds, particularly in relation to missing funds in the local health insurance scheme, Mutuelle de Santé.

Police Spokesperson Chief Superintendent Celestin Twahirwa, confirmed Kayumba’s arrest, adding that investigations were ongoing.

“We are holding him in relation to misuse of public funds and forgery,” CSP Twahirwa told The New Times.

Kayumba had been the mayor of Karongi District for nine years and was serving the last year of his second five-year mandate.

His arrest comes only days after the detention of Rusizi Mayor Oscar Nzeyimana over similar allegations.

Officials in the Western Province told The New Times that a thorough audit into the community-based health insurance scheme had been conducted in all the seven districts of the province.

On Thursday, the provincial governor, Caritas Mukandasira, confirmed that Rusizi, Nyamasheke and Karongi were found to be the most indebted districts in the province, with Rusizi and Nyamasheke recording around Rwf700 million each, while Karongi recorded between Rwf300 and Rwf400 million in Mutuelle arrears.

Nyamasheke mayor Jean Baptiste Habyarimana, also resigned on Thursday citing poor performance.

By press time, there were rumours that he might have gone into hiding but Police said they were not seeking him.

At the national level, government accumulated over Rwf2.3 billion in arrears owed to district hospitals and over Rwf400 million to national referral hospitals and health centres, according to official figures.

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