The High Court upheld some of the decisions taken by the Gasabo intermediate court in the case of former permanent secretary at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning (MINECOFIN), Caleb Rwamuganza and the co-accused who were charged with different counts related to mismanaging public funds. Rwamuganza was charged along with five others, including Godfrey Kabera, the Director General at MINECOFIN, Eric Serubibi, the former Director-General of Rwanda Housing Authority, and Christian Rwankunda, the former permanent secretary at the Ministry of Infrastructure (MINIFRA). The other two in the case are Aloys Rusizana, a businessman, and Bonaventure Munyabugingo a private property valuer. They all faced charges including misuse of public property, flouting of procedures on public tenders, and complicity in flouting tendering procedures. Last year, on March 31, the Gasabo Intermediate court ruled to handle a six-year jail sentence and a fine of Rwf 3 million per each, as well as paying back Rwf 1,804,727,200 in the national treasury to four officials after being convicted with accused charges. Those convicted by then include Rwamuganza, Kabera, Serubibi, and Rwankunda, while Rusizana and Munyabugingo were acquitted. However, after being convicted, they appealed to the High Court challenging the Gasabo Intermediate court’s decision. The prosecution likewise appealed following the decision to acquit some of the suspects. The verdict ruling on the appeal was pronounced earlier (June 7) than the expected time (June 14) because the judges were to be attending seminars on the announced dates. The court ruled to uphold the intermediate court decision on some elements. These include maintaining the six-year jail sentence for Rwamuganza, Rwamukunda, and Serubibi as well as keeping the fine of Rwf 3 million each after being convicted again on appeal. The court also decided to acquit Kabera after analysing his appeal and finding out that there are no reasons to pin him into the case. Among other decisions, the court also maintained the intermediate decision to acquit Munyabugingo. However, Rusizana was convicted and handed a six-year sentence as well as a fine of Rwf 3 million. Furthermore, the court resolved to fine A&P Limited Rwf 3 million and pay back in the national treasury Rwf 1,804,727,000. Initially, the money was supposed to be paid by Rwamuganza, Serubibi, Rwankunda, and Kabera. Nature of the case This case has been before courts of law since mid-2020, where the prosecution charged the offenders with different counts related to mismanaging public funds during the process of purchasing a building for the government in 2018. The building in question is an office block located in Kacyiru, opposite Umubano Hotel. According to the prosecution, the purchase process of the building was characterised by several anomalies, which culminated in losses for the government, when Rwf 9,850,000,000 was paid for it (the building), yet it had the value of Rwf 8,045,272,800. In addition, the prosecution said that the purchase of the building was in 2018 entrusted to Rwankunda, in his capacity as PS in MINIFRA, and it was meant to house different government offices. The said building was developed by Rusizana through his company, A&P Limited. The prosecutor said that given the value of the tender, this transaction was supposed to have involved Rwanda Public Procurement Authority (RPPA), but that was never the case. There was no transparency in the entire deal and numerous public procurement laws were flouted, the prosecutor charged. According to the prosecution, contrary to standard procedures, Rwankunda instituted a committee that negotiated the price with A&P Limited, a process that would have been done by a chief budget manager and RPPA. The committee held several negotiation meetings with A&P Limited in May 2018, the prosecutor said. Later, in a meeting chaired by Rwamuganza, the committee agreed with A&P Limited to buy the building for Rwf9.8 billion. The committee members later shared the purchase agreement with Rwankunda and Serubibi who both signed confirming the transaction.