Former Prosecutor General, Gerald Gahima, has been named in an aid scandal that has engulfed the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID).
According to two Australian newspapers, the Daily Telegraph and the Herald Sun, Gahima is one of the many “briefcase” consultants hired to work in such remote areas, as Papua New Guinea (PNG), East Timor and Vanuatu, at outrageous fees that have been referred to in Australia as “the AusAid gravy train”.
The newspapers report that the new head of the agency, Peter Baxter, has vowed to crack down on six-figure consultants who are draining billions of dollars from AusAID at the expense of the Australian taxpayer.
In 2008, AusAID appointed Gahima "senior justice adviser" to East Timor on a two-year, $757,960 tax-free contract.
Among the other consultants cited was John Dinsdale, a former clerk of the court in Melbourne, who gets more than $500,000 a year, tax-free, as the law and justice adviser to PNG
“Gahima is one of dozens of "briefcase" consultants earning massive salaries advising some of the poorest countries on everything from gender integration to sports development, energy and transport,” says the Herald Sun.
“The US State Department cited allegations of misuse of office in personal bank transactions against Gahima,” the paper continues.
Gerald Gahima left Rwanda in 2004, after defaulting on hundreds of millions of francs in bank loans. By the time of his departure, he had been blacklisted by all the banks in the country.