January 31, 2020

Why is No Institution Willing to Act on Gicumbi’s Untouchable Man?

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Hussein Niyoyita Zoubair

On January 5, The Chronicles published an investigation titled – “Hussein Niyoyita Zoubair: He is Corrupt, Powerful and a Representation of Impunity in Gicumbi District“.

The story detailed credible allegations that the director of a health center in Gicumbi district Niyoyita caused a huge financial loss of more than Rwf15m to a cooperative of nearly 100 health workers through a shoddy construction project. In addition, taxpayers money from the health ministry was also lost.

The cooperative also lost a piggery project. All these losses happened more than 5 years ago. Today, the cooperative would be far developed, instead it is struggling to survive. Its members are poor, while the man who fleeced them has been promoted and left untouched.

Following our story, Police and RIB officers have met the victims. The health ministry is currently conducting audit of the health center that Niyoyita heads. A delegation from Parliament also took up the issue on a visit in Gicumbi district.

Rumours have been circulating since last week at Gicumbi district headquarters, and across the district that Niyoyita has been given a letter of dismissal. There was muted celebration among officials and victims of Niyoyita’s scam, when the information surfaced that he could be finally held to account.

However, our partner media Radio Ishingiro in Gicumbi district cannot find anyone at the district willing to speak about Niyoyita. The healthy ministry is also adamant to speak about him. A ministry’s media liaison office did not get back when asked for confirmation.

Rumours in Gicumbi district say when the dismissal letter was delivered to Niyoyita from the health ministry, he threatened to take legal action for wrongful dismissal. The health ministry has taken a back seat, unwilling to take any more action.

Today, Hussein Niyoyita Zoubair is currently director of Mukarange health center in Mukarange sector, Gicumbi district. He has managed two others previously, and it is anyone’s guess what nor damage he may have left there.

Justice Minister and Attorney General Johnston Busingye did say on Twitter that he was going to follow up on the issue. May be it resulted into sending RIB to investigate, but it seems not much is happening.

In the midst of all this, the cooperative members who lost their livelihoods remain destitute and desperate. The woman, whose name was used to create a fake construction company, fears for her life because our story was the first time she spoke publicly about her plight.

At The Chronicles we ask: Who is protecting Hussein Niyoyita Zoubair? Why is he so confident he is able to intimidate everyone? Why is the health ministry not taking any action? Why is no one at the Gicumbi district unwilling to say anything about him? How come even parliament cannot do anything about him?

Perhaps the details we published in our story may give a hint; he has been a powerful ruling party kingmaker in that region, and no one can dare touch him.

The government has been encouraging creation of cooperatives and urging for job creation. But powerful people are so willing to destroy these dreams.

Since even the office of the Prime Minister knows this case and has not acted, it seems, like all other cases in the country, it will be up to the President Paul Kagame to save the Cooperative ‘Nkomeye ku Buzima’, who are all community health workers ‘Abajyanama b’ubuzima’.

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