RWAMAGANA - The National Public Prosecution Authority (NPPA) is investigating 26 managers of Twibumbe cooperative union in Rwamagana, Eastern Province over Rwf 300 million that went missing.
A source in Rwamagana has told The Sunday Times that one week ago, the police arrested four top managers of the rice cooperative union including its Board Chairman, Joseph Sematama.
Sematama is still detained while the three other managers have since been released.
“The hearing for pre-trial detention of those arrested commenced Friday at Rwamagana Court of Lower Instance,” Augustin Nkusi, the spokesman of the NPPA said on phone.
“Actually, Sematama has appealed to Ngoma Intermediate Court,” Nkusi added.
He added that investigations over the missing funds are being carried out among 22 other managers of the cooperative.
He said the missing funds were contributions of the cooperative members since 2004 to 2009.
Damien Mugabo, the chairman of the Rwanda Cooperatives Agency (RCA), said the missing funds came in the limelight when the union was audited.
The audit was carried out from April to May this year by the RCA audit team, the cooperatives’ regulatory agency.
“I can not give any details. What I can tell you is that the matter has been handed to the prosecution. That is criminal and they should pay back what they embezzled,” Mugabo said yesterday.
“As a regulatory agency, we had to audit the cooperative as a way of evaluating and monitoring cooperatives,” Mugabo explained.
The audit followed several complaints that the rice project was not giving results despite government assistance and the increased rice harvest.