Former PSCBS boss appears in court

The former Executive Secretary of Public Sector Capacity Building Secretariat (PSCBS), Charles Karake, was yesterday arraigned before the Kacyiru Primary Court to hear his bail application. Karake was arrested two weeks ago. According to the prosecution, Karake is accused of two counts of nepotism and using government employees for his personal errands.

The former Executive Secretary of Public Sector Capacity Building Secretariat (PSCBS), Charles Karake, was yesterday arraigned before the Kacyiru Primary Court to hear his bail application.

Karake was arrested two weeks ago.
According to the prosecution, Karake is accused of two counts of nepotism and using government employees for his personal errands.

Represented by Oscar Butera, prosecution accused Karake of using the services of one Epimaque Rugema, who was being paid by government to drive his personal vehicle that was being rented by Gorilland Safaris, a car rental company.

Butera told court that the extra duties Karake assigned his driver made the latter not fulfill his duties as a civil servant.

Karake headed the government institution since 2005 when it was called HIDA, before being dropped early last month.

On the nepotism charge, prosecution averred that Karake approved the employment of his driver’s wife, Imelda Mutumwinka, as a receptionist at the secretariat without following standard recruitment procedures.

During the proceedings, Butera maintained that Mutumwinka did not fulfill the required qualifications prescribed by PSCBS to be a receptionist since it requires one to have at least two years of experience in a similar field.

In defence, Karake pleaded guilty to using a public servant in his personal errands, but said that he was only sending him after work, saying that he was not aware that this constituted a criminal offence.

“I did not know that I was breaking the law when I used the driver in my personal errands because he was only running the errands after work. I, however, apologise to that,” he pleaded.

He however pleaded not guilty on the charge of nepotism, saying that he did not in any way play a role in the recruitment of Mutumwinka.

“As the Director General, I just approved her appointment because recruitment is done by the administrator,” he said adding that he did not influence her appointment and that he should not be answerable.

Through his lawyers who included Athanase Rutabingwa, Karake pleaded with court to grant him bail, citing poor health.

However, the request was countered by prosecution, saying that they needed him remanded, saying that he could impede investigations into his case which they maintain are still going on.

Court is expected to pronounce itself on Karake’s bail application this afternoon.

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