10 March 2014

Rwanda: Motorists Arrested for Bribing Police

Five drivers were arrested on Friday as they allegedly attempted to offer bribes to traffic police personnel along the Kigali-Huye highway.

The suspects, all cargo truck drivers, were apprehended during a patrol by police along the Kigali-Huye highway.

They were arrested in various areas along the way and were paraded at Gitikinyoni-Nyabugogo with their trucks full of goods, mainly hides and skins, charcoal, and timber.

In an interview with The New Times, the suspects confessed, saying the trucks normally have mechanical problems and the only way to reach their destinations is by bribing traffic police officers on duty

"I drive from Huye District to Kigali daily and I usually move with some money aside to bribe any traffic officer who stops me along the way," one of the suspects (names withheld) said.

He said he spends an average of Rwf15,000 daily, saying that a bribe ranges between Rwf2,000 and 3,000.

The suspect said the most culpable officers are those on night patrol.

Officers attached to the anti-corruption police unit who posed as ordinary traffic police officers apprehended the drivers.

"When I was stopped at Gitikinyoni on my way to Kigali, I thought they were the usual officers and pulled out Rwf2,000 from my wallet to offer the bribe as has always been the case, only to be arrested," another driver said.

Police spokesperson ACP Damas Gatare warned the public against corruption, adding that the police will continue arresting the culprits.

"We have put in place mechanisms including establishing an anti-corruption unit to fight the vice," he said.

In July last year, at least 48 police officers were dismissed with disgrace from Rwanda National Police over corruption-related offences.

During the same period, 126 police personnel were charged with corruption.

Under Article 634 of the penal code, anyone involved in such acts is liable to a term of imprisonment of two to five years and a fine of two to ten times the value of the illegal profit solicited.

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