Remera police station is holding a 32-year-old man who was caught soliciting for money from students whom he conned into believing that he would assist them to secure university scholarships from the Imbuto Foundation.
Imbuto Foundation is an initiative of First Lady Jeannette Kagame that helps to empower youth.
Justin Mutabazi, who claimed to be an employee of the project,was arrested on Friday at Centenary House in the city centre after one girl whom he was trying to con tipped off security officials.
“I had talked to this girl on phone. I asked her Rwf 5,000 unfortunately she came at the appointment venue with a certain man I suspect was a plain cloth security operative, and that is when they arrested me,” Mutabazi told The New Times Monday at the Police station.
According to the police, Mutabazi had previously visited secondary schools conning students that with a Rwf 5,000 fee, they would be registered to benefit from the Imbuto Education Programme.
“I was planning to go back to these schools to collect the money as I had managed to convince school authorities that I was an employee of Imbuto Foundation,” Mutabazi added.
Apologizing to Imbuto Foundation and students he deceived, Mutabazi said that he had managed to convince school directors to give him a list of vulnerable students in three secondary schools in Gasabo and Shyorongi Districts.
The secondary schools he went to include College de Espoire and Ecole de Tourism both in Gasabo District, and in Ecole Secondaire Stella Matutina in Rulindo District.
A jobless former primary school teacher, Mutabazi confessed to having committed the crime and says it is the first time he has tried such an act in his life.
When asked whether he did not conspire with someone in Imbuto Foundation or with school directors, Mutabazi denied having planned his move with anyone.
Chief Inspector Methode Munyaneza the Remera Police Station Commander warned the public over such imposters saying that they are crooks using different gambits to get money out of people.
“We had six masqueraders last month and they continue to increase. The public should stand warned,” Munyaneza warned.
Shaduri Umutoniwase, the Education Project Officer in Imbuto Foundation told The New Times yesterday that the foundation had taken the issue seriously and public awareness on the work of the Imbuto Foundation would follow.
“One of our senior managers will have to go public about our objectives, and give an official statement. We can’t claim that we are helping vulnerable children and then ask them money before helping them, it does not make sense,” Umutoniwase said.
She also made it clear that Imbuto Foundation only offers scholarships to secondary school students, not students in institutions of higher learning.
About 100 secondary schools in Rwanda have benefit from Imbuto Foundation scholarships.