KIGALI - The Gasabo Intermediate Court yesterday indefinitely postponed the hearing of the appeal case by former State Minister for Primary and Secondary Education, Theoneste Mutsindashyaka, until a decision is taken by the Supreme Court on a contested clause in the Procurement law.
The accused’s defence counsel, Beatrice Umubyeyi, told the court last week that article 176 of the Procurement law contravenes article 20 of the Constitution, and requested that the Supreme Court gives a constitutional interpretation before the case proceeds.
“The trial will resume after the Supreme Court has made a decision on concerns raised by Theoneste Mutsindashyaka requesting it to scrap article 176 of the procurement law saying that it’s contrary to laws and principles of the constitution enshrined in articles 18 and 20,” presiding judge Abraham Shumbusho ruled.
Also a former Governor of the Eastern Province, Mutsindashyaka was appealing against a one-year sentence handed to him by Kacyiru Primary Court over a tender scam in the construction of the headquarters of the Eastern Province.
In his trial, Mutsindashyaka also accused the Kacyiru Court President, Claudine Nyiramikenke, for having unfairly tried him at the first instance.
The Spokesperson of the National Public Prosecution Authority (NPPA), Augustin Nkusi, said that the Prosecution would maintain its position in the case, as it waits a decision from the Supreme Court.
“It’s their right as required by law to petition the Supreme Court and we will wait and see what the court decides on that. But our position in the case remains the unchanged,” he said in an interview.
Mutsindashyaka was convicted alongside former Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Infrastructure, Vincent Gatwabuyege, and Alexis Mugarura, owner of EMA, a construction company contracted to build the provincial headquarters.
In a separate case, prosecution last year accused Mutsindashyaka of four charges that include under-declaration of wealth, forgery, abuse of public funds and accumulating wealth beyond his earnings.