Four arrested over sale of gov’t distributed mosquito nets

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Police in the City of Kigali have arrested four people, three of them women, for allegedly either stealing or buying the government distributed mosquito nets from the vulnerable beneficiaries, which are not for sale.

The suspects identified as Claudine Karigirwa, Jacqueline Umurerwa, Marie Alice Dukuze and Emmanuel Habineza, were paraded to the media yesterday at Kigali metropolitan in Remera.

Karigirwa, a community health worker in Masoro, Ndera Sector in Gasabo District, and her two accomplices (Umurerwa and Dukuze), also residents of Masoro, were arrested on January 7 with 27 mosquito nets.

Habineza, who is a businessman, was arrested in the night of Sunday in Kimisagara Sector of Nyarugenge District with 45 mosquito nets.

 According to Supt. Emmanuel Hitayezu, the police spokesperson for the City of Kigali, they first received information from residents about a woman in Masoro (Dukuze) whom they saw with “many mosquito nets.”

“Police officers first arrested Dukuza, who had the 20 nets, but he said that he bought them from Umurerwa, who also said that she got them from Karigirwa after her arrest,” said Supt. Hitayezu.

Apparently, Umurerwa was worked on behalf of Karigirwa to sell the mosquito nets to Dukuze.

Meanwhile, Habineza, on the other hand was apprehended by the Kimisagara community night patrol at about 9:30 pm on Sunday.

“Investigations have since established that Habineza bought the nets from vulnerable beneficiaries in Muhanga District,” said Hitayezu.

Dukuze said that she bought the nets at Rwf1000 each while Habineza said that he had bought each net at Rwf400.

Supt. Hitayezu also disclosed that they seized other 25 mosquito nets from people, who are still at large.

 

He warned the business community against selling illegal goods or those that are not for sale.  “The actions of the suspects affect the government health programmes and are against the law,” he said.

“These are freely distributed things; those distributing them should exhibit the trust given to them instead of being the obstacle. Traders should also deal in goods that are legal,” he noted.  Supt. Hitayezu further appealed to the public to protect what is rightly theirs and come forward with information of people that could be involved in such malpractices.

Dr. Aimable Mbituyumuremyi, the Head of Malaria and other Parasitic Infection Division at Rwanda Biomedical Centre (RBC), noted that mosquito nets are meant to fight malaria in Rwanda, adding that interfering with the programme in anyway means “promoting the disease and unhealthy living” which is also a security issue.

 

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