Two Grassroots Leaders Arrested Soliciting Bribes

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Two grassroots leaders in Ndera Sector of Gasabo District have been arrested in connection with soliciting bribes from people to unlawfully allow them construct residential houses.

Gaspard Munyamana and Wilson Ntakirutimana, both in charge of information and security, respectively, in Kira Village of Kibenga Cell in Ndera were taken into custody on Wednesday after the would be victim reported the matter to police.

The suspects were arrested in the act receiving the bribe, police spokesperson for the City of Kigali said.

It is said that on September 16, Munyamana found one Josephine Mukanemeye building a house without a construction permit, and ordered her to halt the illegal activities.

In what was originally meant to be a kraal, was later turned into a residential house.

However, Munyamana and Ntakirutimana connived and later approached Mukanemeye demanding Rwf200, 000 to be given a green light to continue with the illegal activities.

“We bargained until we agreed that I give them Rwf100, 000. They were listing a number of leaders they would share the money within the village and cell,” Mukanemeye said.

“I knew that what they were asking was unlawful, so I called the police and informed them, and that’s how the two were arrested red handed after receiving part of the money.”

Munyamana had received Rwf70, 000 while Ntakirutimana had taken a bribe of Rwf20, 000.

Although the suspects attempted to deny soliciting bribes, they could neither explain why they didn’t completely erase down the illegal structure when they were authorised to do so or what the money they received was meant for, especially that they argued that they had no connection with the victim.

“The City of Kigali has a master plan which should be followed. The implementation of this master plan is equally the responsibility of grassroots leaders, and contrary to that they will also be accountable,” the spokesperson said.

“These same leaders, who are supposed to guide the people, are the same luring them into losses, where they criminally solicit bribes from them well knowing that these illegal structures will also be erased. This is an act of impeding government development programmes, which every Rwandan should fight.”

He observed that such illegal construction activities also contribute to disasters and loss of lives.

Supt. Hitayezu further warned against soliciting or giving bribes.

“Soliciting or giving a bribe in criminal, and whoever will be caught will face the wrath of the law.”

The arrest of the duo comes at the time when local leaders in different parts of the country are destroying all structures that were constructed illegally.

Article 635 of the penal code, states that any person who explicitly or implicitly demands or directly or indirectly receives gifts or any other illegal benefit in order to accomplish an illegal act or to refrain from carrying out his or her duties, shall be liable to a term of imprisonment of between five and seven years and a fine of two to ten times the value of illegal benefit demanded.

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