Eastern Province senior official arrested over Rwf1.5bn

The Executive Secretary of the Eastern Province, Charles Gasana has been arrested for allegedly embezzling government funds, The New Times has learnt.

The Executive Secretary of the Eastern Province, Charles Gasana has been arrested for allegedly embezzling government funds, The New Times has learnt.

According to police sources, Gasana is being detained at Remera Police as investigations into his case continue.

The source said yesterday that Gasana was arrested last Friday by police and his file was forwarded to the office of Prosecutor General for scrutiny.

Prosecution spokesperson, Augustin Nkusi confirmed the development when contacted yesterday.

“The suspect will be presented to court soon,” Nkusi said by phone.

Gasana allegedly connived with Vincent Gatwabuyege, a former Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Infrastructure and a businessman called Alexis Mugarura to approve about Rwf 330 million as additional money for constructing the Province’s headquarters.

Information from Prosecutor General’s Office indicates that the Province headquarters was supposed to cost Rwf 1.7billion.

Businessman Mugarura had reportedly won the contract to build the headquarters.

According to Nkusi, this initial additional money would have been ‘tolerated’ because this was below 20 percent of the total cost, but, according to prosecution, Gasana authorised payment of other sums of money in two phases of 675million and 500million.

“There is no explanation why he had to approve this large sum of money that almost totalled to the initial total cost of the construction works,” Nkusi said.

“The question here is why this official, trusted by the government would simply authorise the money,” added Nkusi, saying that this is what prompted prosecution to take action.

Efforts to contact the Governor of Eastern Province Ephraim Kabayija were futile by press time as his cell phone went without being answered.

Gasana, prior to becoming the Eastern Provincial Executive Secretary was the Mayor of Nyagatare.

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