Local Gov’t Permanent Secretary arrested

The Permanent Secretary in Ministry of Local Government, Cyrille Turatsinze, has been arrested for allegedly soliciting a bribe from a local businessman, who was bidding for a tender to supply the ministry with IT equipment.

Turatsinze was arrested on Saturday morning, together with one Harelimana Rwego, who the former had allegedly sent to collect the money from the businessman, on his behalf.

The duo is currently held at Kicukiro Police Station.

Police Spokesperson, Theos Badege, who confirmed the arrest, said that the PS had requested for Rwf2 million from the businessman, as a ticket to winning the tender.

“Our informants tipped us and we initiated mechanisms to apprehend all those involved; we arrested Harelimana red-handed, who led us to his accomplice [Turatsinze],” stated Badege.

By the time of their arrest, the businessman had already given Harelimana Frw500, 000 which he was supposed to take to Turatsinze, Badege said.

“We are finalising the dossier (file) that will be presented to the prosecution,” Badege said.

The police spokesperson warned the public against corruption, emphasising that the zero tolerance to corruption would continue.

Turatsinze was appointed the PS in February last year, replacing Eugene Balikana, who was moved to the Prime Minister’s Office as the Director of Cabinet.

A total of 166 cases of corruption were recorded last year, according to a police report.

The National Public Prosecution Authority (NPPA), this year, also dragged 342 civil servants to court for causing massive financial losses to the government through fraud, illegal awarding of tenders and mismanagement of public assets.

The officials were part of 418 cases that were supposed to be investigated by NPPA, as indicated in the 2007 to 2010 Auditor General’s reports.

The public officials facing the wrath of the law include financial controllers, heads of institutions and members of internal tender committees.

These officials, who fell in the third category, were found to be beyond the level of being fined, hence taking them to court because of the gravity of their cases and the amount of money involved.

Over Rwf134.4 million was recovered through fines levied on officials for failing to account for the missing funds, unpaid taxes or stolen money that went missing between 2007 and 2010 while 75 others were convicted of stealing over Rwf383.6 million in tax payers’ money during the same period.

Their sentences range between six months and eight years.

Rwanda was ranked the least corrupt country in East Africa by Transparency International.

Contact email: bosco.asiimwe[at]newtimes.co.rw

Source: The New Times