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Village Chief in Police Custody over Abuse of Gir’inka Programme

A Village Chief of Mpongo, Nsanga Cell of Rugendabari Sector in Muhanga District has been arrested for allegedly soliciting bribes from the disadvantaged people in the village as means to add them on the list of beneficiaries under the One-Cow-Per-Family programme commonly known as Gir’inka.

Police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Celestin Twahirwa.

Clement Musangamfura was arrested on April 10 after some of victims reported the matter to police.

Preliminary investigations indicate that Musangamfura had already solicited bribes from seven people, amounting to Rwf70, 000 by the time of his arrested.

Gir’inka is a government programme designed to give a cow for free to every disadvantaged family as means to reduce child malnutrition rates and improving the well being of all beneficiaries.

“One of the victims came forward with the information which led to the arrest of Musangamfura,” Police spokesperson, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Celestin Twahirwa, said.

Meanwhile, Musangamfura, who admitted committing the offence, told police that he was working with another official in the district, charging Rwf10, 000 from any person, before they are included on the list of those who will be given the heifer.

ACP Twahirwa said Police is still conducting investigations to identify the exact amount that had been taken and all those involved.

“This is abuse of office and public development programmes; these services are meant to be given out freely so, people should know that it’s criminal to charge or give money to acquire them,” said ACP Twahirwa.

Rwanda National Police established a unit charged with detection and investigating embezzlement of public funds, under the Criminal Investigation Department (CID).

This issue is on the list of RNP top priorities in crime prevention, detection and bringing offenders to justice to ensure protection of public resources.

Under article 644 of the penal code, “any person who explicitly or implicitly solicits, promises, or receives directly or indirectly a bribe or any other illegal benefit , affirming to exert an influence or acquaintance for another person to make a decision whether the bribe or benefit is for him or herself or somebody else, whether the exerted influence or acquaintance produces expected results or not, shall be liable to a term of imprisonment of up to 3 years and a fine of up to 10 times the value of the illegal benefit solicited, promised or received.”

By Robert Muriisa, RNP.

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