Italia Solidale case set for hearing

The hearing of a case in which officials of a local church-affiliated NGO, Italia Solidale accused of mismanaging funds meant to help orphans has been set for next month.

The hearing of a case in which officials of a local church-affiliated NGO, Italia Solidale accused of mismanaging funds meant to help orphans has been set for next month.

Leaders of Italia Solidale reportedly diverted about Rwf 3bn sent from Italy to help about 2000 orphans left vulnerable by the 1994 genocide against Tutsis. The leaders have in the past repeatedly denied pocketing the funds.

Last year, an audit by the Supreme Court showed that Rwf 3bn was received from Italy but there are little activities on the ground to show how the money was spend.

The Supreme Court carried out the audit after beneficiaries of Italia Solidale complained that the funds were being spent on children from well-do-to families.

“We are still studying this case carefully but it will start next month,” Galican Rukaka, the Prosecutor handling the case said. He declined to give more details.

Joseph Robert Kabeja, a judge at the Nyarugenge Court of Lower Instance confirmed the development. He asked the beneficiaries to stay calm, saying the court will get to the root of the problem.

An Italia Solidale beneficiary who declined to be named had complained that the court was dragging its feet on the matter.

Kabeja said the hearing will start as soon as all investigations are complete. “Justice will prevail. Whoever is found culpable will be punished,” Kabeja said.

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