CAD scam: students’ fate hangs in balance

• Over 500 sacked The fate of university students who were promised scholarships by Christian Action for Development (CAD), a faith-based Non Governmental Organisation (NGO), now hangs in balance after they discovered that it was a scam.

• Over 500 sacked

The fate of university students who were promised scholarships by Christian Action for Development (CAD), a faith-based Non Governmental Organisation (NGO), now hangs in balance after they discovered that it was a scam.

Silas Munyaneza, CAD’s legal representative is in jail accused of fraudulently collecting money from over 900 students as ‘registration fee’ after which, he promised to take care of their fees.

Each of the conned student paid Rwf 300,000 as ‘registration fee’. Now some institutions of higher learning have started sacking the students for delaying to clear their tuition charges.

“Schools like ISAIE Busogo, UNILAK, and UNATEK have expelled more than 500 students and we request the education ministry to intervene,” Innocent Ngabo Kalisa, the president of the General Forum for Rwandan Students said in an interview.

He said that the main problem that the forum is currently facing is finding a solution to the affected students’ problem after various universities began kicking them out.

The students, through FAGER, have since petitioned the Ministry of Education to intervene, but the Minister’s Education Adviser, Callixte Kayisire, said that the ministry has no budget for such interventions.

“It’s hard to intervene because the agreement was entered between universities and the NGO and if the ministry had the money, it would have been sponsored them instead of them turning to a fake scholarship scheme,” Kayisire said.

Munyaneza, who is now remanded at Kimironko Prison, reportedly received about Rwf600 million from different donors between 2007/8, and the funds were meant for the university students and victims of last year’s earthquake in the Western Province but he pocketed it.

It is alleged that immediately after the February 2008 earthquake, Munyaneza reportedly approached donors in England and the US soliciting for funds to intervene in constructing houses and schools destroyed by the quake.

Other documents available from UK donors show that he got over Rwf 18 million but there is no evidence on the ground to show how it was spent.

When contacted, Prosecution Spokesperson Augustin Nkusi said that they have since forwarded Munyaneza’s case for hearing before the Nyarugenge Court of Higher Instance.

“We indicted him of forgery but it is for the court to decide the date of hearing, and if convicted he faces up to 10 years in jail,” Nkusi revealed.

Meanwhile, since the arrest of Munyaneza, CAD offices in Kicukiro have been closed and staff members refuse to say anything claiming that Munyaneza had full authority over everything.

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