Muhanga: Staff collaborate in embezzling milk of malnourished children

Reports from police and districts officials in Muhanga district have revealed that some of Gitarama health center staff in Shyogwe sector has embezzled milk reserved for malnourished children. Police seized cartons of milk that was being taken away by health center staff to their own homes. reports that information from some of Muhanga district officials show that the embezzlement issue has been being reported about in the center but no evidence had not yet been revealed because the theft was being carried out in strong collaboration and plan of the health center staff.

Police and health institutions launched investigation over the reports and seized a car full of cartons of milk in a home of one of the staff in charge of accountance.

Police inMuhanga district says that one groom from that home of the caught red-handed accountant who used to transport the milk   has  unveiled that  the theft has been on trend even for other staff from the health center. has reported the accountant has been arrested and detained by police while some suspected staff did not dare to return to the working place during the situation. The staff in charge of welfare, Consolee Karigirwa was reported unseen on job, since the incident occurred.

In the end of last week, one of the suspected was released from prison, however it is said that those who were yet to be arrested played role in distorting the evidence and pursuing of the embezzling crime.

Some of   vulnerable beneficiaries of milk program at center said some staff could welcome them with bad care and be denied to take milk whenever they came for it and could be answered that   ‘government will not continue to offer them milk”.

Some of workers from the district said they are worried by reluctance in punishing the suspects whereas officials already have evidence about the crime.

However, for Fortunée Mukagatana, Vice Mayor of Muhanga, in charge of Social Affairs; hope in justice work. She acknowledges awareness, after having found ten liters of this milk in a shop near the center, on the 15th of March.

She said, “Since then, we began to think about it, and the operation of 11Mai was successful: 160 liters of milk were found in the accountant’s office, while he declared stock empty, that everything was already  distributed to beneficiaries”.

The vice mayor declares that on the day of the operation, all the concerned staff was not in the service for so-called varied reasons. “There was even resistance to open stocks, but police helped; We managed to find this quantity in the accountant’s office. ”

Although Pacific Kiberinka (the accountant) is released, police investigations continue, Fortunée hopes. And those who are hiding must also know that “the police is there”.

The Rwanda Demographic and Health  Survey (RDHS 2014-2015) by  National Institute of Statistics in Rwanda(NISR) shows that 38% of children under 5 years nationwide are stanting. The southern province accounts 41%, while the district of Muhanga has 37%.

For the 2017 budget, this district planned to support 383 malnourished kids, but the new cases reach 256 today, according to Fortunée, the Vice Mayor.

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Fred Irakoze & Jean Baptiste Karegeya

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