Bayigamba appears in court over fraud

Robert Bayigamba, the former Minister for Youth, Sports and Culture, on Wednesday appeared before the Nyarugenge Primary Court. Courtesy.

Robert Bayigamba, the former Minister for Youth, Sports and Culture, on Wednesday appeared before the Nyarugenge Primary Court over charges of fraud.

Bayigamba, who has also served as the Chairperson of Private Sector Federation, is being investigated for allegedly using fraudulent means to take ownership of property that does not belong to him.

 

Appearing before the Nyamirambo-based court, Bayigamba did not have a lawyer with him, prompting the judge to ask him if he was ready to proceed with his pre-trial hearing.

 

Bayigamba said he could not enter any plea without his lawyer present.

 

Robert Bayigamba, the former Minister for Youth, Sports and Culture, on Wednesday appeared before the Nyarugenge Primary Court over charges of fraud.

Bayigamba, who has also served as the Chairperson of Private Sector Federation, is being investigated for allegedly using fraudulent means to sale property for which he had no custody.

The case revolves around a controversial sale of three high-value pieces of land by Bayigamba to two different individuals, an act he did knowingly.

It is alleged that the ex-Minister took an advance payment on the sale from one of the buyers, and went ahead to sale the land to another individual and efforts for the first buyer to recover his money were futile.

It is also said that the original title deeds for the same pieces of land had been deposited with two creditors for whom Bayigamba owed money.

Appearing before the Nyamirambo-based court, Bayigamba did not have a lawyer with him, prompting the judge to ask him if he was ready to proceed with his pre-trial hearing.

Bayigamba said he could not enter any plea without a lawyer, asking for an adjournment, saying that it was his right to have legal representation.

Asked by court what they had to say about it, prosecution said they spoke to Bayigamba’s lawyer on Tuesday morning, who informed them that he was not aware the hearing had been scheduled.

The prosecutor said that when he appeared at Rwanda Investigation Bureau for interrogation, his lawyer was with him.

After hearing from both sides, the judge concurred with the accused saying that his right to legal representation had to be respected, before deciding to adjourn the trial to next week, November 6.

Bayigamba, who has previously headed different corporate companies in the country including commercial banks and an insurance firm, was arrested on October 22.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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