Rwanda National Police (RNP), on Sunday, August 29, also took four people into custody in connection with the theft.
Three of the suspected thieves were employees at the school construction site. They are Enias Hafashwimana, 32, Erneste Mukiza, 30, and Justin Hitayezu, 29, who were arrested on August 28, in Rushubi Village, Gihorwe Cell, Kabatwa Sector.
The fourth suspect, only identified as Niyomugabo, is a local welder who had bought the metal door and window frames from the trio.
The Western region Police spokesperson, Chief Inspector of Police (CIP) Bonaventure Twizere Karekezi, said that the arrest followed investigations on the theft and information exchange between the Police, the school administration and the public.
“Police received information from the school administration that the metal door and window frames meant for the new classrooms that are under construction, were stolen by unknown people at night. During related investigations, Police identified and took into custody the three prime suspects working at the construction site (Hafashwimana, Mukiza, and Hitayezu). Following their arrest, they disclosed that they sold the metal door and window frames to Niyomugabo, who was also arrested with all the stolen frames,” CIP Karekezi said.
Niyomugabo said that he bought the five frames from the trio for Rwf30,000. The school management thanked the RNP for their quick response to recover the frames.
CIP Karekezi also thanked the local residents, who shared information that led to the recovery of the stolen construction materials and arrest of the suspected thieves.
He reminded the public that theft of such materials affects the education system and denies children from getting classrooms. He urged residents to guide such construction materials jealously and report anyone that attempts to embezzle or steal them.
The suspects were handed over to RIB at Kabatwa station for further legal process.
Article 166 of the law determining offenses and penalties in general states that any person convicted for theft is liable to imprisonment for a term of not less than one year and not more than two years and a fine of not less than Rwf1 million and not more than Rwf2 million, community service in a period of six (6) months or only one of these penalties.
The penalty doubles, if the theft was carried out at night or by more than one person.