Former Bank CEO gets six year sentence for corruption

Alex Kanyankole.

Nyarugenge Intermediate Court has handed a six-year sentence to former BRD Chief Executive Officer, Alex Kanyankole for charges including favouritism and receiving undue benefits.

In addition, the court ordered Kanyankole to pay a fine equivalent to Rwf22.5 million.

The Nyamirambo-based court passed the sentence to the accused on Thursday afternoon.

Neither Kanyankole nor his co-accused Juvenal Kalema was present during the passing of the verdict.

None of their lawyers was also present.

Court convicted Kanyankole on favouritism when he influenced the approval of a loan worth $8.1 million (about Rwf7 billion) to Top Service – a fertilizer distribution firm – for importing fertilisers into the country in 2017.

In a previous hearing, Kanyankole had told court that the loan was used to import about 10,000 tonnes of fertilisers and were vital in improving farm productivity in Rwanda last year.

Court said it found Kanyankole guilty of soliciting or receiving illegal benefits when he received equipment worth $12,500 (about Rwf10 million) from a client, one Abdu Gahima, Chairman and Legal Representative of Good Harvest School.

According to prosecutors, the equipment was given to Kanyankole before he promised the school to facilitate them get a loan from the bank, which is contrary to standard procedures.

During the substantive trial last month, prosecution requested court to hand Kanyankole a seven-year sentence and a fine of Rwf100 million.

It also sought a five-year sentence and a fine of Rwf100 million against Kalema, who faced a single charge of corruption.

Prosecution had accused both men; Kanyankole and Kalema – formerly a senior officer at the bank – of soliciting and receiving a bribe of between Rwf50 million and Rwf70 million to facilitate Good Harvest School to get access to a loan amounting to Rwf500 million.

In defence, Kanyankole’s lawyers said that the fact that prosecutors did not precisely point out the exact amount the two accused received in bribe, automatically favours them because any doubt of fact favours the accused.

The judges concurred on this one, saying that prosecution did not present enough evidence to pin Kanyankole and his co-accused on the alleged bribe.

As a result, court acquitted Kalema of all charges.

Prosecution had also indicted Kanyankole on taking a decision based on favouritism while approving a loan to Trust Industries — a Bugesera-based factory that manufactures assorted hygienic products including toilet paper, detergents and soap.

However, court said the credit advanced to the factory was approved by a meeting held by all the concerned people at the bank, hence absolved Kanyankole of taking a unilateral decision to advance them a loan.

Kanyankole was arrested in October 2018 by Rwanda Investigation Bureau over the charges that were brought against him.

He has remained in custody while he co-accused was tried while out on bail.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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