The case against the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Infrastructure, Marie Claire Mukasine, Monday took yet another twist when the prosecution announced that the suspect had implicated herself in her testimony in court.
Throughout last month, the prosecution kept insisting that Mukasine together with the Director of Finance, Alexis Karani and Jean Marie Vianney Makombe, could not be prosecuted in a case involving a controversial multi-billion tender because the case against them was weak and unsustainable.
Prosecution had told Kacyiru Lower Instance Court that basing on investigations made so far, Mukasine, Karani and Makombe never intentionally committed the crime.
This soft stand against the PS by the prosecution made Mukasine last Monday even dare Judge Claudine Nyiramikenke on why she should continue attending court proceedings yet “my case is so weak”.
Prosecution now argues Mukasine erred during her testimony on Monday and spoke a different language, from what she had told them.
While responding to Judge Nyiramikenke’s question on whether she had scrutinized all the documents before releasing over Rwf 300million to EMA, a construction company also embroiled in the controversial case, Mukasine, according to prosecution said “all the documents were adding up.”
Prosecution argues that by saying she cross-checked all the documents properly before the payment was done, Mukasine had admitted to the crime.
The prosecution now says Mukasine has a serious case because she released the money with full knowledge surrounding the irregularities.
“She didn’t tell us the truth at first during the interrogation. She said she had not properly checked the documents but in court she said she did,” prosecutor, Boniface Budengeri said.
The prosecution asked the court to sentence and convict Mukasine to 5 years imprisonment for causing government financial loss.
But it was all smiles on the side of former State Minister, for Primary and Secondary Education, Théoneste Mutsindashyaka.
When the prosecution demanded that the former Governor of the Eastern Province be handed a one-year imprisonment and a fine of Rwf 500, 000 for his involvement in the Rwamagana tender scam, Mutsindashyaka turned, looked at his defence lawyer, Beatrice Umubyeyi and they both smiled.
Umubyeyi said they were ready to challenge the prosecution when her client appears in court next Monday.
“One year is also big for my client. You know he is innocent,” Umubyeyi said outside the courtroom.
Mutsindashyaka is said to be party to a case involving former provincial official, Charles Kasana and Vincent Gatwabuyege, the former Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Infrastructure.
Gatwabuyege and Kasana are accused of awarding EMA, a multi-billion tender in 2007 to construct the headquarters of Eastern Province without following standing procedures.
The court wants Kasana, Gatwabuyege, Alexis Mugarura, Jean Habyarimana, Henry Munyashongore, Eliab Munyemana, Wilson John Sekaziga and Yvonne Nyiramasengesho to be imprisoned for 6 years each on the count of abusing public funds.
The prosecution also demands that on conviction, each of the above officials also pays a fine of Rwf 6 billion. It, however, recommended that Karani and Makombe be acquitted.