KACYIRU - Kacyiru Court of Lower Instance on Monday turned down a request by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Infrastructure, Marie Claire Mukasine to exonerate her from charges related to the Rwamagana tender scam.
Mukasine asked the Judge on Monday whether she should stay home since the prosecution had no interest in her case.
In response, Judge Claudine Nyiramikenke ruled that Mukasine is party to a case involving former provincial official, Charles Kasana and Vincent Gatwabuyege the former Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Infrastructure.
Nyiramikenke said Mukasine is in court as a suspect and not a witness. “You have a case to answer. Don’t try to create more troubles for your-self,” the Judge warned.
Nyiramikenke insisted that it was the work of the court to determine whether someone is guilty or not. “It’s not the prosecution,” she said.
Mukasine was summoned in court last month together with the Director of Finance Alexis Karani in the same ministry and Jean Marie Vianney Makombe to clear their names in the Rwamagana controversial tender scam.
Others in court over the same case include former State Minister for Primary and Secondary Education, Théoneste Mutsindashyaka and Eliab Munyemana, another official from the Ministry of infrastructure.
Prosecution has in the past told the same court that Mukasine, Karani and Makombe cannot be charged because the case against them is weak and cannot be sustained.
Basing on investigations, prosecution argued that the officials mentioned above never intentionally committed the crime, an argument contested by the Judge.
“We have found out that these people had no intention to steal state funds. Mistakes could have been committed but not intentionally,” Prosecutor Boniface Budengeri earlier argued.
Kasana and Gatwabuyege’s lawyers had earlier argued that if the Prosecution had no interest in prosecuting Mukasine and the rest, their clients should also be exonerated or at least be given bail and report to court from their homes like their co-accused.
In her defence, Mukasine told court that she released the money to the construction firm not knowing the company had troubles with her Ministry.
“My new job had huge challenges and there was no even a handle over ceremony since Gatwabuyege had been arrested. People just told me to sit, work and nobody told me about the Rwamagana tender scam,” explained Mukasine.
Gatwabuyege and Kasana are charged with awarding EMA, a construction company owned by Mugarura, a multi-billion tender in 2007 to construct the headquarters of Eastern Province without following standing procedures.
It is alleged that the tender, which was initially worth Rwf 1.7bn was later amended twice at the request of businessman Mugarura, contrary to the standard tendering procedures.