10 August 2018

Rwanda: Cabinet Sacks Entire Division at Rwanda Biomedical Centre for Causing Losses

The government has dismissed all workers of Medical Technology and Infrastructure Division of Rwanda Biomedical Centre over inefficiencies that have affected the performance of the health sector.

According to the minutes of a cabinet meeting chaired by President Paul Kagame Wednesday, the decision takes effect immediately.

"The cabinet meeting removed from duties all the staff from Medical Technology and Infrastructure Division due to inefficiencies affecting the performance of the health sector," read part of the Cabinet minutes.

The Medical Technology Division is responsible for healthcare technology management and the supervision or assistance in engineering of infrastructure for health facilities in the whole Country.

Fulgence Kamali, who is currently standing in for the spokesperson of the Ministry of Health, said the sacked employees were being investigated.

"Some of the fired individuals have already been arrested," Kamali said.

The New Times has learned that eight suspects are facing up to five charges that include using forged documents, issuing illegal public tenders, and fraudulent tendering processes.

They also face charges related to misappropriation of government resources and doing jobs that contravene guidelines governing public servants.

The sacked employees have been identified as Jean Marie Vianney Birasa, the Division Manager; Emmanuel Birindabahizi, Fred Kayitare, procurement specialist, Theogene Namuhungu, Justin Gashema Procurement officer, Jean Claude Zimurinda the Engineer in charge of medical equipment, Uwimana Richard, and Jean Paul Mugabe.

Kamali told The New Times that the Division had at least 22 employees, including those who were arrested.

The prosecution told the local media that the eight suspects caused losses of Rwf5.8 billion through the purchase of faulty medical equipment over the last five years.

The fake equipment was being distributed to hospitals and health centres across the country.

The division will, however, remain and new staff are expected to take up the vacant positions.

"It doesn't mean the division is closing up. Its functions are still needed in the health sector," Kamali said.

The cabinet meeting also fired Theogene Namuhungu, the Director of Health Technology and Infrastructure Planning Unit, and Hamad Baligira, the Director of Human Resource and Administration Unit in the same ministry.

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