Witness misses field visit in Horizon case

The field assessment to ascertain the proportions of soils used in the construction of Gashora dyke concluded its first day on Monday with the absence of one expert witness, Eng. William Ngabonziza. The Military Tribunal recently ordered all parties involved in the trial — now better known as the ‘Horizon Case’— to conduct a tour of the construction site in Bugesera district following contradictory findings from two experts who assessment produced two contradicting findings.
Lt. Col Paul Semana (R) listening to Capt. Denis Rwamo during a visit to the Dyke. (Photo/ E. Mutara )
Lt. Col Paul Semana (R) listening to Capt. Denis Rwamo during a visit to the Dyke. (Photo/ E. Mutara )

The field assessment to ascertain the proportions of soils used in the construction of Gashora dyke concluded its first day on Monday with the absence of one expert witness, Eng. William Ngabonziza.

The Military Tribunal recently ordered all parties involved in the trial — now better known as the ‘Horizon Case’— to conduct a tour of the construction site in Bugesera district following contradictory findings from two experts who assessment produced two contradicting findings.

The former Managing Director of Horizon, Lt Col Paul Semana and several former top officials of the company are accused of ‘shoddy’ work on the Gashora project that cost the company hundreds of millions of francs.

Ngabonziza was appointed by court to carry out inspections after the defence contested an earlier one conducted by an expert appointed by the prosecution.
Whereas the report by Engineer William Binego incriminated Semana and his co-accused, Ngabonziza’s report proved the contrary and the latter’s absence at the site during the court’s on Monday raised concerns from the defendants.

The visit, which was led by presiding judge Maj Marc Sebaganji, involved getting soil samples from the constructed dyke to ascertain the type of soil that was used in the construction.

“My lord, I have observed that the (new) samples have been picked from one side of the road, different from what the other engineer had picked…this would not be impartial especially with the absence of the engineer in question,” said Semana.

Subsequent to Semana’s appeal, Sebaganji made a telephone call to the absent engineer (Ngabonziza) fixing another field assessment exercise for today (Wednesday) in the presence of both civil engineers.

The aim of the multi-million project was to prevent waters from Nyabarongo marshland from flooding into the 748 ha of land suitable for cultivation.

Maize has been planted on more than half of the land, benefitting over 500 residents of the area.

It was alleged that insufficeient amounts of  soil was used during the construction, and in the process, military prosecution maintains, the former managers of the company swindled hundreds of millions.

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