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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Rwanda national flag carrier launches flights to Nigeria Abuja

KIGALI Rwanda (Xinhua) -- RwandAir, national flag carrier of Rwanda, on Friday commenced flights to Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

The Boeing 737-700 aircraft to Abuja left Kigali International Airport from the Rwandan capital city Kigali at around 10:30 a.m. local time.

Abuja is RwandAir’s second destination in Nigeria, the airline said on its Twitter handle. The direct flight setting out from Kigali will operate on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, said the airline.

Abuja will help RwandAir to increase connectivity between East and West Africa and the rest of the network and enhance partnership between Rwanda and Nigeria, according to Patrick Manzi, airline’s Senior Manager Promotions and Customer Loyalty.

The expansion was informed by Nigeria’s business potential, said Manzi.

The route will be tagged to the existing route to Ghana’s Accra and stop in Abuja before heading to Accra, said the airline in a statement issued this February.

With plans to also commence flights to Cape Town in South Africa, the two new destinations will increase RwandAir’s destinations to 26, said the statement.

With a fleet of 12 aircraft including two wide-body Airbus A330 acquired last year, the airline fly to destinations across East, Central, West and Southern Africa, the Middle East, Europe and Asia.

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EARLIER REPORTS:

Ill-gotten wealth possibly hidden outside Rwanda: prosecutor general 

KIGALI Rwanda (Xinhua) -- Some corrupt officials were suspected of hiding ill-gotten wealth outside Rwanda, which complicates efforts for recovering the funds, Prosecutor General Jean Bosco Mutangana said Thursday.

It’s common to find an official who is investigated over billions of francs owning assets worth far less value, which makes recovery of swindled funds hard even when a conviction is secured, Mutangana said at a consultative meeting attended by senior government and parastatal officials in Kigali, capital city of Rwanda.

At least 347 government employees were implicated in corruption cases since 2007, according to him.

The Rwanda’s prosecution prosecuted around 1,000 corruption cases for the last 10 years, said Mutangana, adding that 3.7 billion Rwandan francs (about 4.7 million U.S. dollars) was found to have been swindled during the same period.

The meeting sought to find measures to address issues of mismanagement of public funds highlighted by previous reports of Auditor General.

Unsupported expenditure during the 2015/16 fiscal year totaled about 7 billion Rwandan francs (around 8.2 million dollars) while partially supported expenditure amounted to 7.4 billion Rwandan francs (about 8.7 million dollars), according to the reports.

Same government institutions keep appearing in the Auditor General’s reports over mismanagement but little is done to address the queries pointed out by Auditor General, Senate President Bernard Makuza said in his opening remarks of the meeting.

Rwanda is ranked 48th least corrupt country among 180 countries globally, up from 50th place in 2016, according to Corruption Perception Index 2017 released by Transparency International. The central African country maintained the third position in the fight against corruption in Africa and is ranked first in East Africa, according to the report.

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Two grenades found at hospital in eastern Rwanda: media

KIGALI Rwanda (Xinhua) -- Two unexploded hand grenades were Saturday found at Kibungo Hospital in Ngoma district, eastern Rwanda, local media reports.

An individual found the two grenades at around 9 a.m. while cleaning a room for drivers who work the night shift, the hospital’s director William Namanya told local media.

After finding the grenades, the hospital informed the police which called in the army bomb squad to come and removed the grenades safely without causing any harm, said Namanya.

The director said there was panic among patients but the situation shortly returned to normal after the grenades were removed.

A police source who spoke on condition of anonymity confirmed the case with Xinhua and said the police had arrested two hospital drivers for interrogation as investigations continue.

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More than 50 passengers escape unhurt as bus catches fire in northern Rwanda

KIGALI Rwanda (Xinhua) -- Fifty-one passengers aboard a public transport bus escaped unhurt on Friday morning when the vehicle burst into flames along the way in northern Rwanda, said the Rwandan police.

According to local media, the vehicle of a public transport company with registration number RAD 248K was heading to the Rwandan capital Kigali from Musanze district in Northern Province before it caught fire around 8 a.m. along the way in Gakenke district, Northern Province.

After the driver noticed that the bus was on fire, he put the vehicle to a stop and urged the passengers to jump out, according to reports. Fire fighters from the police rushed to the spot to put out fire before the bus could completely burn off, local media reported.

People along the road alerted the driver after realizing the lower part of the bus had fire sparks, Rwandan police spokesperson for Northern Province Hamdun Twizeyimana told Xinhua on phone.

All passengers and the driver escaped unhurt and no injuries were reported, said Twizeyimana.

The fire is most likely caused by a technical problem, the spokesperson said, adding that the cause of the accident is still unknown and the investigations have started to ascertain the cause.

“We always tell the drivers to ensure that their vehicles are in good condition ahead of any journey. But they have not paid much attention,” he added.

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Three killed in garbage dump collapse in Rwandan capital: official

KIGALI Rwanda (Xinhua) -- Three people were killed on the outskirts of Rwanda’s capital Kigali after a huge mound of garbage collapsed on Wednesday and buried them under debris, a local official said on Friday.

The victims had gone to look for scrap metals from the garbage dump in Kicukiro district when it collapsed, Kagarama sector executive secretary Nathan Kanyesigye told Xinhua.

They include two women and a child, whose bodies were retrieved by residents and the police, said Kanyesigye.

He said the dump site has not been in use for about five years after it got filled and was closed by city authorities.

Authorities and residents had believed more bodies could have been buried under the garbage but a search was completed on Friday without finding any other victim, he added.

The official said it was not the first time the dump site had collapsed as one was killed in a recent collapse. Authorities have hence resolved to seal off the area to prevent people from going to search for scrap at the site, he said.

The accident at the Nyanza dumping site happened around 5 p.m. following heavy rains, according to local residents.

Residents were attracted to the dump site after one other person who was there screamed calling for rescue, said a resident. 

             

 

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