Mayor’s release raises eyebrows

NGORORERO - The move by Musanze high Court to release former Ngororero Mayor, Cyprian Nsengimana, has sparked anger among prosecutors in the District. A prosecutor who spoke on condition of anonymity because he doesn’t want to be seen questioning the competence of the court described the Mayor’s release as “very unfair”. “This man has been on the run after the Rubavu intermediate Court convicted him. You cannot simply release him,” the prosecutor complained.  
Cyprien Nsengimana, former Ngororero Mayor.
Cyprien Nsengimana, former Ngororero Mayor.

NGORORERO - The move by Musanze high Court to release former Ngororero Mayor, Cyprian Nsengimana, has sparked anger among prosecutors in the District.

A prosecutor who spoke on condition of anonymity because he doesn’t want to be seen questioning the competence of the court described the Mayor’s release as “very unfair”.  

“This man has been on the run after the Rubavu intermediate Court convicted him. You cannot simply release him,” the prosecutor complained.

He added: “Let us pray he does not flee the country like his colleague who is suspected to be hiding in Belgium.” 

Rubavu intermediate court convicted and sentenced Nsengimana in absentia to five years imprisonment for embezzling public funds.

Nsengimana was sentenced with his deputy-Mayor, in charge of economical affairs Jacques Habimana who was handed 6 years in jail.

Another prosecutor, who also declined to be named said the first ruling by Rubavu intermediate Court had directed that Nsengimana be arrested but latter chose to go underground.

Police sources in Rubavu say Nsengimana was arrested in Ruhengeri, Musanze district hiding in a residential house.

“The general feeling is that he should have been detained basing on the fact he was trying to run away from justice,” the prosecutor at Rubavu said.

Sources at Rubavu prison said Nsengimana only spent 24 hours in prison on Wednesday.

When contacted, Prosecution spokesman Augustin Nkusi said the news of the Mayor’s release “shocked him” but declined to go further into the circumstances.

He only said Nsengimana was released following an order by the Musanze high court.

“But his release doesn’t mean that he is innocent,” Nkusi said by phone yesterday evening.

Nkusi said Nsengimana appealed so that he can be investigated when he is out of the prison and “the court agreed.”

Nsengimana and his deputy mayor had been convicted on August 20 for embezzling over Rwf 400,000.

The duo-had been found guilty of inflating the number of participants from 16 to 76 with the aim of pocketing the extra funds that they had received from REMA’s project DEMP in order to pocket the difference.

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