Rwanda Investigation Bureau (RIB) has confirmed it has submitted to the National Public Prosecution Authority the case of eight health workers, who were arrested over embezzling Covid-19 kits and misuse of vaccines.
According to RIB spokesperson, Thierry B. Murangira, the suspects were arrested between January 4 and 8.
The suspects are from at least three health centres; Kinunu, Nyabirasi and Biruyi health centers in Rustiro district.
Others are from Nyanza District, at Gatagara Health Post.
Speaking to The New Times Murangira explained that two suspects from Kinunu Health Centre were unable to explain how they used 30 AstraZeneca vaccine bottles which were supposed to vaccinate 300 people.
Other two suspects from Nyabirasi Health Centre failed to explain how they used 45 bottles of Moderna vaccine which were meant to vaccinate 675 people.
"Preliminary investigations revealed that the suspects would go to various vaccination sites and vaccinate people without first checking if the number of people supposed to be vaccinated per bottle, as per instructions," he explained.
He further clarified that one AstraZeneca bottle usually vaccinates 10 people while a Moderna bottle vaccinates 15 people and should last for six hours and 12 hours respectively. Beyond those hours they expire.
However, for some of the suspects, they would open the bottle, vaccinate a few people and after six or 12 hours depending on the type of vaccines, threw bottles away, then opened new ones to vaccinate new people.
"They did not comply with vaccines instructions, those acts are therefore constitute the crime of misuse of property of public interest," Murangira said.
According to Murangira, the other four suspects were arrested on suspicion of embezzlement.
"One suspect from Biruyi Health Centre was arrested for selling four boxes of Covid-19 rapid test kits and a box usually contains 25 pieces," he said.
A test kit costs Rwf5000.
Murangira added that it's the same case to three suspects who were arrested in the Nyanza district where they took 1,750 Covid-19 test kits from CHUB General Hospital in Huye but never delivered them to Nyanza Hospital as expected.
"The undelivered kits cost approximately Rwf6,125,000," Murangira revealed.
RIB urges people to be vigilant, saying that misusing public property will not be tolerated, especially now when the country is dealing with a pandemic.
"People have to avoid such crimes and RIB will not tolerate anyone caught in these crimes," Murangira said adding that "those crimes are related to corruption, and corruption is an imprescriptible crime and punishable by heavy penalties" he added
RIB also calls all public hospitals in Rwanda to conduct in-depth assessments and report unclear cases.
For embezzlement crime upon conviction four suspects are liable for sentencing to a term of imprisonment of not less than seven years but not more than 10 and a fine of Rwandan francs from three to five times the value of the stolen property.
While for misuse of property of the public interest upon conviction suspects are sentenced to between five to seven years imprisonment and a fine not less than Rwf3,000,000 but not more than Rwf5, 000,000.
Copyright The New Times. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com)., source News Service English