Rwanda Investigation Bureau (RIB) has put into custody the former Rwanda Cooperatives Agency (RCA) boss, Prof. Jean Bosco Harelimana on suspected charges of mismanagement and misuse of public resources.
Dr. Thierry B. Murangira, Spokesperson RIB, confirmed to KT Press on Friday that Prof. Harelimana, who was relieved of his duties earlier this in January, has been under investigation for a while and was arrested on September 14.
Earlier this week, the Parliament Public Accounts Committee (PAC) expressed concern after the former official and academic failed to show up for a scheduled hearing to respond to queries raised by the Auditor General in his 2021/22 report.
Dr. Murangira said that RIB did not arrest him for failing to appear before PAC because while it can be seen as contempt of Parliament and its organs, it is not a criminal offence but rather has been under investigation while free over mismanagement and misuse of public resources which were committed during his tenure.
“It is true RIB detained Prof. Harelimana, who was the Director General of Rwanda Cooperatives Agency. He was arrested on September 14. It should be noted that he was not detained for failing to appear before PAC. He has been under investigations for some time over illegal awarding of public procurement and misuse of property of public interest,”
“However, when he failed to appear before PAC, RIB was concerned that he could be a flight risk and cannot respond to summons when needed by investigative body. The crimes he is alleged to commit are of a serious nature, warranting a sentence of five to seven years and a fine ranging between Rwf2 million and Rwf5 million,”
Dr. Murangira said it is a responsibility of all Rwandans, especially those given responsibilities at the national level, to be accountable, not just to self but also the public because accountability is a key principle and practice of the country.
He cautioned people who go against these values, reminding them that being accountable is not just a slogan but rather something that has to be seen and done.
He pointed that when it comes to public resources, RIB will not tolerate anybody who is suspected of misusing, mismanaging or embezzling taxpayer’s money, adding that those who engage in malpractices such as illegally awarding government tenders or misappropriation will not escape the long arm of the law.