Of the 413 cases of misused public funds handed to the Prosecutor General by the Auditor General, 302 or 73.12% have been treated, resulting so far in the recovery of Frw 134,410,388, the Prosecutor General Martin Ngoga said yesterday.
The cases range date to between 2007 and 2010 and the amount was recovered from public officials who illegally offered public tenders, and fines charged to them.
The auditor general's reports from 2007 to 2010 indicated 342 cases that had to be taken to court. 75 persons have been found guilty and must be held accountable of money or other assets losses worth Frw 383,622,036, explained Jules Marius Ntete, inspector general at the National Public Prosecution Authority.
He mentioned that the convicted have been sentenced to prison term ranging from 6 months to 8 years. Those concerned are current and former public officials like directors of some national institutions and agencies, their accountants and finance officers, mainly accused of flouting tendering process, illegally exonerating taxes and embezzling public funds.
Ntete also noted that they found out some public officials who made mistakes like those who failed to refund huge credits of their institutions; these mistakes are not punished by the penal code, but require administrative punishments.
In these cases the prosecution listed 179 people from 27 government institutions and agencies where the ministry of education and ministry of health top the list with respectively 34 and 31 officials.
The inspector general said that they notified their institutions and copied the letter to the prime minister who will decide upon their cases.
According to the prosecutor general, all public officials who were involved in cases worth less than Frw 5 million were fined with Frw 500,000 per case and were not taken to court. However, Ngoga mentioned that this is a one-off clemency, and if any of these people would be caught again mismanaging public money, they would be prosecuted.
The public prosecution authority wants 82% of all the cases related to the misuse of the public funds to be treated by June 30.