The Rwanda National Police has arrested five people in connection with creating ghost consultancy projects and stealing over Rwf580 million from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)-Rwanda.
Police Spokesperson, Assistant Commissioner of Police Damas Gatare identified the suspects as Evelyne Ben Dadale, the Programme Associate in UNDP, Viviane Masabo, an employee of REMA and entrepreneurs Liliane Kente, Jeremie Rucamukibatsi and Michael Kabutura.
“The six are accused of creating ghost consultancy projects and forging the signature of the Director General of Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA), which they used to secure a total of Rwf580, 270, 483 from UNDP between 2011 and August 2014,” ACP Gatare said.
UNDP finances various environmental projects through REMA.
“Rucamukibatsi was arrested by Burundi Police on an international arrest warrant issued by RNP while others were apprehended in Kigali on a tip-off from members of the public after they read various notices put on the RNP website and its social networks,” he added.
The consultancy was allegedly conducted by Biogas Rec Limited owned by Rucamukibatsi, Envirotech Consult limited jointly owned by Kente and Kabutura and Rwanda Bamboo society of one Johnson Nkusi, who was already in detention over other criminal acts.
“Today, it’s hard to commit a crime and run away. We have built a good working relations with regional and international Police forces and even with the local population through community policing which has supported RNP and justice sector in general to ensure that criminals don’t escape justice,” he noted.
The ghost consultancy include the ‘Assessment Impact from Community Conservation around Volcanoes National Park’ allegedly done in March 2012 and cost over Rwf38.4 million; public environment experience review worth worth Rwf37.2 million supposedly carried out in December 2013 and ‘study on environmental and livelihood impact of fertilisers in Rwanda’ allegedly carried out in April this year and took over Rwf29.3 million.
“These are consultancy projects that either never existed or had been cancelled by the management of REMA,” he added.