Rwandan hospital boss in hiding over corruption

ON THE RUN: Hospital head Valens Habimana has resigned and dissapeared

ON THE RUN: Hospital head Valens Habimana has resigned and dissapeared

The director of Kinazi hospital, Ruhango district, in Rwanda’s Southern Province has resigned and disappeared over allegations of corruption.

Dr. Valens Habimana, one of the longest serving hospital directors in Rwanda stepped down Tuesday and his whereabouts are still unknown.

The Director of Communications in Rwanda’s Health Ministry, Nathan Mugume confirmed the developments and said that the ministry is aware of his resignation but could not confirm nor deny the corruption allegations.

“We have received Dr. Valens Habimana’s resignation letter and we don’t know much about these allegations but we are investigating the reasons behind this,” Mugume said.

Kinazi hospital is one of the state of the art hospitals in Rwanda which were built in fulfillment of President Paul Kagame’s pledge to build hospitals during the 2003 presidential campaigns.

The Rwf 5.5 bilion hospital serves over 20,000 residents of Kinazi, Ntongwe, and Mbuye sectors in Ruhango district.
Corruption is slowly and steadily eating up the Rwandan society especially in high level offices and transparency international, in its recent 2015 report, urged the Kigali government to tighten the loose ends especially among top officials.

Transparency International Rwanda’s (TI-RW) sixth edition report released in December 2015 indicates corruption has declined from 67% in 2011 to 51% but warned there are new forms of corruption which come along with the use of technology.

“Corruption jeopardizes our social-economic development yet the government is aiming at becoming a knowledge-based economy. We want our country to be free from corruption such that the set economic agendas can be met,” said Marie Immaculée Ingabire, president of Transparency International Rwanda.

Transparency International Rwanda’s bribery index further shows last year, 17.5% of Rwandans encountered a bribe. The trend is almost unchanged from 2014’s figures of 17.8% or 17% in 2010.

According to the Rwanda bribery index, men are more likely to encounter corruption (21%) than women (12.9%). The figure is high in urban populations (23%) compared to 14.6% in rural areas. There is also correlation between higher personal income and bribe encounter.