City authorities decry fake engineers, threaten action

Two fake engineers have already been arrested. City authorities are working with the police and the engineers boards to bring to justice whoever is caught.
An aerial view of Kabeza Sector, Kicukiro District. CoK is getting tough on engeneers amid a boom in the construction sector. Sam Ngendahimana.

Engineers and architects working in the City of Kigali without legal status have their days numbered before authorities begin a massive crackdown on them, the city’s Executive Secretary, Claude Mutuyimana, has said.

Addressing the media yesterday, Mutuyimana said that the city’s administration would not continue taking the blame over mistakes that have continuously been made by fraudulent engineers and architects who have consistently led locals into making losses by providing false information. He warned that that every effort is being put into bringing the malpractices to an end.

“When someone applies for a construction permit, there are requirements. We have found out that some people are forging documents and identities. This has caused issues towards implementing the city master plan and interfered with service delivery,” he said.

Mutuyimana said that two fake engineers have already been arrested and that the city authorities will continue to work with the police and the architects and engineers boards so that whoever is caught breaking the law is brought to justice.

The Director of Urban Planning at CoK, Fred Mugisha, said that there was a system in place where developers’ details can be found but cited some glitches such as some of them lying about their qualifications.

“It’s very disappointing. In principle, every professional must know the (city) master plan but you have cases where these unregistered engineers give false information to make quick money and, unfortunately, the blame always fall on the city authorities,” he said.

The President and Chairman of the Engineers Governing Council, Eng. Dedeki Papias Kazawadi, pointed out that the law requires all engineers operating in the country to register with the Council, a move that he says was put in place to weed out quacks and to ensure that standards are adhered to.

However, he said that even with the law in place, the number of those that are registered is still small.

“If you, for instance, look at the 20 years plus of universities have been open and you compare to the five years that the board has been operational, the number of licensed engineers that fall under our institution are close to 1500 but the number should be five times bigger,” he said.

The law governing the engineering profession was passed in 2012.