Rwanda : Rwandan Justice prosecutes hundreds of government officials
The Prosecutor General of the Republic has issued a report showing that 342 Civil Servants have been brought to court for causing huge financial losses to the Government through fraud, illegal award of tenders and mismanagement of public goods.
Civil servants are part of 418 cases which are to be examined by the Prosecutor General of the Republic, as was indicated in the reports from 2007 to 2010 of the Auditor General.
Ngoga, Attorney General of the Republic, said this Friday, May 8 at TNT that some of the officials before the courts are still in service, until the higher authorities make decisions.
“We will send the names to the Prime Minister and will decide whether these officials continue to serve while their cases are still before the courts or be laid off,” said Mr. Ngoga.
“These officials, who are in the third category, are beyond the level of being fined, we decided to prosecute them because of the seriousness of their cases and the amount of money involved,” he added.
75 were also convicted of stealing more of Rwf 383.6 million in taxpayer money during the same period. Their sentences range from six months to eight years.
Ngoga said that Rwf134.4 million was recovered by the fines imposed on those responsible for not having reported the missing funds, unpaid taxes or money stolen during the same period.
More than 79.4 million Rwf arrears of taxes, while 54.9 million Rwf are fines levied on employees.
Ngoga explained that the mechanism of the fine imposed on officials began with the year 2012 if all these officials would be prosecuted.
Everyone who wins a tender is supposed to pay 3percent tax, but if it does not pay, those who have assigned this job are forced to pay for him, plus a maximum penalty of Rwf 500 000 per head on each case.
“These funds recovered include those paid by the ministers, permanent secretaries and other officials at this level that do not have supporting documentation of how they spent the money given to them during work, “he said.
“Ministers are not budget managers; they are not responsible for financial mismanagement within their departments. Only permanent secretaries are responsible. All Permanent Secretaries have been here to record the statements of the missing funds, “said Ngoga.
The Attorney General also explained that most of the liability issues are in the lower levels, where much of the budget is spent, one reason they are more involved in financial trouble.
He added that the amount of money involving 342 officials is “very high” compared to that recovered.
The report for the period 2007 to 2009 shows that 2.8 billion Rwf are still to be considered.
Earlier this year, the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) tabled a report regarding the loss of Rwf 9.7 billion highlighted in the report of the Auditor General 2009/2010.
111 cases of this kind are still in the hands of investigators; while nine others involving military officials were sent to military tribunal court.
Earlier this year, Transparency Rwanda protested against the slow progress in the recovery of public funds.