Police warns against drunk-driving, forgery of Covid-19 test results

On 21 August 2021 at 05:58

Rwanda National Police (RNP), on Friday, August 20, paraded 33 people, who were arrested separately in City of Kigali for either driving under the influence of alcohol or forging Covid-19 test results.

At least 29 are drivers, who were caught driving while drunk and four others were arrested for conniving to falsify Covid-19 test results.

The drunk drivers were arrested in operations conducted between August 17th and 19th.

The trio of Festus Ngabo, Madeleine Nikuze and Jean Luc Nsengamungu were arrested on Thursday, August 19, in Amizero Village, Rugarama Cell, Nyamirambo Sector of Nyarugenge District for allegedly conniving to forge Covid-19 negative test results.

Jean Luc Nsengamungu and Madeleine Nikuze are newly weds, who used the same falsified Covid-19 negative USSD messages at their wedding held on August 14.

Their fourth accomplice identified as Nelson Kwizera, is a clinical laboratory technician at one of the clinics in Remera, Gasabo District, who entered Nsengamungu and Nikuze into the system as Covid-19 negative without taking their samples.

Nikuze told journalists that the whole idea was brought by the best-man at their wedding, Festus Ngabo.

"He (Ngabo) called us prior to our wedding day, asking for our phone contacts... that he had someone to help us get the Covid-19 negative test results without going to the laboratory.

Indeed, we received the USSD messages indicating that our Covid-19 tests were negative even when we did not go to have our samples taken. Due to the short time we had, we fell for Ngabo’s ill-advice which we now regret," Nikuze narrated.

Kwizera also said that it is Ngabo, who approached him to help his friends, Nikuze and Nsengamungu, who had a wedding.

RNP spokesperson, Commissioner of Police (CP) Jean Bosco Kabera said that the violators were arrested due to strong partnership that exist between the Police and public through information sharing.

He warned against disregarding the government directives through such criminal practices.

“Anyone still thinking of forging or using falsifies Covid-19 test results should know that they are starting their journey to jail. It is risky, unethical and criminal for a laboratory technician to enter people into the system as Covid-19 negative without taking their samples," CP Kabera warned.

He reminded that "due process must be respected" and appealed to the public to adhere to the directives against the spread of Covid-19 instead of attempting to falsify the test results, which can spread of the virus leading to loss of lives as well as imprisonment for "avoidable behaviours and practices."

The spokesperson further warned drivers against driving under the influence of alcohol, a serious traffic violation which can lead to fatal accidents.

Article 276 of law determining offences and penalties states that; any person who, in any manner, forges or alters documents by forged signature or fingerprint, falsifying documents or signatures or impersonation, forging agreements, its provisions, obligations, or discharged obligations, commits an offence.

Any person who, with fraudulent intention, produces a false written document, causes to write false statements or produces a conflicting declaration, is considered to commit the offence of forgery.

Upon conviction, he/she is liable to imprisonment for a term of not less than five years but not more than seven years and a fine of not less than Rwf3 million but not more than Rwf5 million or only one of these penalties.

Any person who, knowingly makes use of a forgery document in any way, commits an offence. Upon conviction, he/she is liable to the same penalties.