KIGALI - The office of Ombudsman has given the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) sixty days to complete investigations against government officials who could not justify their wealth. Twelve government officials from unnamed institutions are the targets of the investigations.
A source from Ombudsman office told The New Times on Tuesday that a letter asking police investigators to expeditiously carry out the probe was written on January, 30.
“Yes, the police was given two months,” the source who spoke on condition of anonymity said. When contacted on Wednesday, CID boss Christopher Bizimungu confirmed the development and said investigations were on course.
“We were given sixty days. But we shall finish the work before the deadline,” Bizimungu said in an interview at his office in Kacyiru.
Reports from the office of Ombudsman are rife that some government officials could be accumulating wealth beyond what their earnings justify.
Early this year, the Ministry of Internal Affairs sacked eight employees after they failed to explain how they accumulated their wealth.
Penelope Kantarama, the ministry’s Permanent Secretary said the sacking was done after Ombudsman’s investigations implicated the officials. She said the ministry had acted on the directive from the Ombudsman after the latter implicated the said employees.
The sacked employees had been under probe for months.
Leaders are required by law to submit their annual declaration of income, assets and liabilities for verification by June 30.
Any leader who fails to declare his/her wealth without any reasonable cause breaches the law and the penalty is huge. The idea is to discipline government employees suspected of dipping their fingers into public funds.
Statistics from the Ombudsman office last year indicated that out of 4,929 government employees, 4,478 complied with the 2004 law that requires leaders to declare their wealth.
Land, cars, houses and cash are some of the wealth indicators. Penalties for accumulated wealth beyond the employee’s earning include dismissal and loss or forfeiture of assets among others.
Those supposed to declare wealth include the President, ministers, judges, MPs, police, army and prisons officers, heads of departments, local government officials and district employees.