The Gasabo Primary Court on Thursday conducted a bail hearing for five suspects involved in the Urukumbuzi Estate case, commonly known as 'Kwa Dubai,' located in the Kinyinya sector of Gasabo District. The suspects include Jean Nsabimana, also known as Dubai, a businessman responsible for constructing the estate; the former Mayor of Gasabo, Stephen Rwamulangwa; the former Vice Mayor, Raymond Chrétien Mberabahizi; the former Director of One Stop Center, Jeanne d’Arc Nyirabihogo; and Engineer Theopiste Nkurikiyimfura. They are facing charges of abusing functions, fraud, and forgery of documents. During the hearing, the defendants argued that the nature of their case does not warrant a criminal trial. They contended that if there were mistakes in the construction of the estate or in the selection of engineers, the case should be tried as a civil or commercial matter. The prosecution explained that in 2013, Nsabimana signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Gasabo District to build 300 affordable houses in the Kinyinya sector. Nsabimana initiated the project in 2013, and by 2017, a total of 120 houses had been constructed as part of the initiative. These houses were made available for purchase, with prices ranging from Rwf 15 million to Rwf 45 million. However, in 2015, a report from the Rwanda House Authority (RHA) raised concerns about substandard aspects of the project. The report instructed the construction company to rectify the identified issues within one month. These issues included the absence of an engineer overseeing the project, the lack of construction permits for all the houses, and the use of substandard reinforcement bars. However, despite the instructions provided in the 2015 report, a subsequent inspection conducted by the RHA in 2017 revealed that the same mistakes persisted. The prosecution highlighted that Nsabimana continued to sell the houses, disregarding their substandard condition. He took money from the victims, falsely assuring them that the homes were in good condition. Additionally, he forged the contract he had signed with the engineer to make it appear as if he had employed the engineer since 2015. According to reports, Nkurikiyimfura allegedly agreed to sign a forged contract falsely indicating that he had been working for Nsabimana since 2015, even though he started in 2017. The former Gasabo officials have been accused of committing crimes through the abuse of their functions. The court heard that they deliberately disregarded the recommendations of the RHA report and allowed the project to continue, solely to fulfill the objectives of the district's 'Imihigo,' a home-grown initiative. In doing so, they failed to consider the potential impact that this project would have on the public. The prosecution concluded by requesting the court to remand the suspects, arguing that there are reasonable grounds to suspect their involvement in the crime and ongoing investigations. However, all the defendants denied the charges against them. Nsabimana, in particular, stated that he did not engage in the construction of affordable housing for profit; rather, he claimed that his intention was to support the country's agenda. He argued that he had agreements with the property owners and refuted any allegations of fraud. Nsabimana also emphasized that the houses were not in bad condition, suggesting that any damage or deterioration may have been caused by natural disasters or modifications made by the owners over the years.