Rwanda: Former Cooperatives Agency Boss Arrested

Rwanda Investigation Bureau (RIB), on Friday, September 14, announced the arrest of Jean-Bosco Harelimana, the former Director General of Rwanda Cooperative Agency (RCA).

RIB’s Spokesperson Thierry Murangira said the official is suspected of crimes including flouting public tender procedures and abuse of public resources.

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“His arrest is based on an investigation done about him for some time in relation to offences he suspected of having committed while he was leading the institution,” Murangira said.

In January, Prime Minister Edouard Ngirente dropped Harelimana from leading RCA, owing to managerial failure. Details related to his sacking were not made public at that time.

RCA is the institution charged with promoting and regulating the cooperatives sector in Rwanda.

Earlier this year, figures from RCA indicated that there are about 9,706 cooperatives in Rwanda with a share capital of more than Rwf47.8 billion.

All the cooperatives count over five million members (comprising over 2.77 million men, and over 2.25 million women).

Since its inception, cooperatives have been crucial in improving the welfare of Rwandans, particularly the role Savings and Credit Cooperatives (SACCOs) have played in boosting financial inclusion in the country.

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Through SACCOs, over Rwf350 billion was disbursed in loans to previously unbanked Rwandans which helped thousands of Rwandans – who were formerly – unbanked get finance to run different profitable businesses.

“RIB reminds all people responsible for managing public resources to be careful and follow the guidelines and laws, because failure to do that will lead to consequences including prosecution. RIB also reminds all residents of Rwanda that flouting of tender procedures and misuse of public resources should be a taboo,” Murangira said.


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