The government lost over Rwf38.5 million in the ongoing construction of Nyabarongo hydro-power plant in Matyazo Cell, Mushishiro Sector in Muhanga District, The New Times has established.
During the construction which started in January 2009, many families in the area lost their property and the government was supposed to compensate them.
However, in the process of compensation, local leaders who were in charge of evaluating the destroyed property, created a “ghost” list of beneficiaries.
“As a result of this scam, the government lost over Rwf38.5m. Prosecution is doing everything to have the culprits punished,” Alain Mukuralinda, Prosecution Spokesperson said.
The rip-off was unearthed after the Ombudsman’s office probed the matter to follow up on the compensation process.
Mukuralinda said that there are 26 suspects, so far. He added that 21 of them have been arrested and investigations are still ongoing.
The suspects include, area local leaders, some residents and employees of Banque Populaire -Bulinga branch who helped to open accounts for the “ghost” beneficiaries
“There are other people, still at large, who were actively involved in the embezzlement. We are still investigating because the real amount of money that was swindled is not yet known,” said Mukuralinda.
The $97million power plant, expected to generate 27.5 megawatts, is slated to open in December next year.