The manager of COTEGA, a cooperative of tea farmers in Nyamasheke District is being held by Police for allegedly embezzling about Rwf30 million.
Police said Damien Ndababonye was arrested over the weekend following an investigation that was ignited by the current management and members.
COTEGA cooperative has close to 3400 tea farmers.
Police spokesperson for the Western region, Chief Inspector of Police (CIP) Théobald Kanamugire, said that concerned members of the cooperative filed the case of “gross abuse of office by some current and former cooperative leaders.”
“During investigations, we found that Ndayambaje, while he was still the manager of the COTEGA, allegedly used Rwf30 million from the cooperative coffers to buy a vehicle. He was arrested and the vehicle (Double Cabin) impounded pending further investigations,” CIP Kanamugire said.
It is alleged that while Ndayambaje was still the cooperative manager, he connived with other leaders and unlawfully withdrew Rwf30 million and bought himself a vehicle.
Members of the cooperative told Police that the vehicle was purchased without their consent. Apparently Ndababonye had agreed with afew in the cooperative that he would be paying Rwf150, 000 every month to refund the whole amount. Police was told that he was not going to pay any interest.
“We are still investigating the involvement of other members in this case or if there is no more money embezzled before the case file is forwarded to prosecution,” Kanamugire noted.
Embezzlement, under article 325 of the Penal Code, is punishable with a term of imprisonment of seven to ten years and a fine of two to five times the value of the embezzled or destroyed property.