College closed after alleged theft of public resources

The Rwanda Ministry of Education (MINEDUC) has ordered the temporary closure of a college in Kigali, Rwanda, to allow ongoing investigations into the alleged theft and misappropriation of public resources.

It is the first instance in which a higher learning institution has been closed over alleged criminal activities.

The Rwanda Polytechnic-Integrated Polytechnic Regional College Kigali, or IPRC-Kigali, is one of eight Integrated Polytechnic Regional Colleges – all public institutions – that are offering technical and vocational skills at university level under the Rwanda Polytechnic.

“Following the decision by the government of Rwanda, MINEDUC informs all students, staff and the general public that the campus of Rwanda Polytechnic, IPRC-Kigali (Rwanda Polytechnic-Integrated Polytechnic Regional College Kigali) is temporarily closed for two weeks with immediate effect,” according to a statement released by the ministry on 23 October.

“This is to allow for ongoing investigation into serious cases of theft and misappropriation of public resources. No one is allowed to enter the campus premises during this period,” it stated.

The ministry called upon individuals who have information on the alleged crimes to contact their nearest Rwanda Investigation Bureau (RIB) office to share that information to facilitate investigations.

“Students who are on the campus will be enabled to return home and will be informed when the campus reopens,” noted the statement.

According to sources, college equipment allegedly disappeared. The RIB subsequently launched investigations and some top officials have been interrogated and arrested.

The RIB confirmed that a senior manager was in custody as investigations into the theft and the misappropriation of public funds continued.

Also arrested, according to the RIB, were several employees who are involved in the management of the institution. According to Thierry Murangira, a spokesperson for the RIB, some equipment has been recovered.