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TI-Rwanda calls for tougher penalties against Entrepreneurs

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Transparency International Rwanda (TI-Rwanda) suggests penalties handed to Entrepreneurs whose mistakes are connected to public funds embezzlement should be toughened to address government funds’ embezzlement.

Marie Immaculee Ingabire, the TI-Rwanda chairperson, thinks, should the penalties be toughened, the entrepreneurs would end up revealing the leaders in charge of procurement in public institutions who attempt to involve in corruption which puts the country’s economy in crisis, as a result.

She was saying during the morning press review talk show aired every morning on RBA, last weekend. She the penalties given to suspected entrepreneurs should be cleared, and quickly brief them to report whoever tells them to give them money before their bid applications are approved to charge those procurement officers instead.

However, she said the penalties against entrepreneurs should not be cleared completely, but toughened up instead to clear corruption issues spoken out in procurement processes.

“I would like to suggest tougher penalties against entrepreneurs. They fail to reveal those who tried to ask them money, which is a form of corruption, due to bad mistaken numbers,” she said.

“An entrepreneur comes looking for a bid, and you who give it to him asks him money before he gets it and he takes the money to give you from that he received, thinking it is a win-win situation as if both of them got a profit. He will not report you for sure because he fears you would not give it to him,” she revealed.

Ingabire revealed that some entrepreneurs cooperate with procurement officers and agree on increasing the bid amount on big projects for their own interests after finding out that the money proposed in bid competitions is not enough.

Although the case involves both entrepreneurs and procurement officers, sometimes entrepreneurs face injustice usually committed by government officials in some cases, giving an example of one who was asked corruption from the management of Remera Rukoma Hospital, in Kamonyi District, so that he stands a chance to win the bid.

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He quickly reported to TI-Rwanda, who immediately communicated to the police to intercept and arrest the suspect in the Hospital. Suddenly, the entrepreneur found himself in danger, early morning of the following day, as all the bidding contracts he had in Southern Province Hospitals were cleared and taken away from him.

She said, “All bidding contracts in Southern Province were taken away from him, and they cooperated to stop the business with him immediately and were even ready to defeat him if he claims”

The entrepreneur tried to appeal to the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry which was expected to help him but in vain as he either could not reach his phone or he could not pick his call”

Auditor General Obadiah Biraro also spoke out the issue of cooperative relationship between an entrepreneur and procurement officer who pretend to be partners in crime which result to committing serious mistakes while approving bids where they lie while giving information on entrepreneurs’ deposits to cover the losses, like the case of Bugesera District and University of Rwanda

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@Fred Irakoze

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