The National Public Prosecution Authority (NPPA), yesterday, released a report on the investigations carried based on the 2007 Auditor General’s (AG) report, where by over Rwf 3.7 billion was reported as embezzled.
71 officials were implicated in the report that was released in 2009.
According to prosecution, investigations were carried out in 108 of the 112 government institutions and projects the AG’s office reviewed in the period.
Twenty six of the investigated cases, involving the loss of over Rwf125.3m and implicating 66 officials, were forwarded to court while Rwf over Rwf 40.7m was recovered, either through fines or implicated officials returning the funds in ‘good faith.’
According to the law, the prosecution has powers to impose fines on officials who use improper procedures to award tenders, but with no intent.
In total, about 223 officials have so far been prosecuted; some arrested, with 110 of them from districts, 101 from the central government while 12 are from the provincial level.
The report was released during a news conference hosted by the office of the Prosecutor General..
The Prosecutor General, Martin Ngoga, noted that those “cases that were not taken to court are those that are not criminal in nature. We took different actions provided by the law to deal with criminal offences.
“Not every single query the AG raises in the report must result into a criminal offence…but every single query must invite investigations,” Ngoga said.
He noted that some funds unaccounted for in the report were actually not embezzled, but was a case of poor record keeping.
Some of the criminal cases, he stated, are scheduled for trial.
“Those cases that were not above Rwf 5m and involved flouting tendering procedures were left to be handled internally. We decided to impose a fine to people responsible. Next time, these people get involved in this offence, it will be sent to court, irrespective of the amount involved,” Ngoga explained.