KIGALI - The Gasabo Intermediate Court yesterday postponed to early next month the hearing of the appeal lodged by former State Minister for Primary and Secondary Education Theoneste Mutsindashyaka, after the accused challenged a clause in the Procurement law pinning him for flouting tendering procedures.
The former Governor of the Eastern Province has appealed against a one-year sentence handed to him by Kacyiru Primary Court over a tender scam for the construction of headquarters of the Eastern Province
Mutsindashyaka’s defence counsel, Beatrice Umubyeyi, told the court that article 176 of the Procurement law contravenes article 20 of the constitution.
“We request that the case be postponed to enable the Supreme Court examine the relevance of that article in the Procurement law.
“This is not only for our benefit but also for other people who may fall victim of it in the future,” Umubyeyi told the court.
But Prosecutor Budengeri Boniface challenged the request saying that it would be unfair to adjourn the case involving many other accused who include; the former Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Infrastructure, Vincent Gatwabuyenge, and Alexis Mugarura.
Later, Presiding Judge Shumbusho Abraham ruled that the case be pushed to February 3 to allow the court to examine whether to continue with the hearing or petition the Supreme Court over the matter.
It later turned out that only Mutsindashyaka and Gatwabuyege’s lawyers supported the adjournment leaving Mugarura’s defence counsel in opposition.
Mugarura owns EMA, a construction company contracted to build offices for the Eastern Province Headquarters while Gatwabuyenge is in prison for circumventing tendering rules.
Clad in pink prison attire, Mutsindashyaka in his arguments particularly accused the Kacyiru Court President, Claudine Nyiramikenke, for having unfairly tried him at the first instance.