Mutsindashyaka acquitted of fraud, other convictions still stand

KIGALI - The Nyarugenge Intermediate Court on Wednesday cleared former State Minister od Education, Theoneste Mutsindashyaka, of mismanagement of public funds and concealing foreign bank accounts from the Ombudsman.
Theoneste Mutsindashyaka
Theoneste Mutsindashyaka

KIGALI - The Nyarugenge Intermediate Court on Wednesday cleared former State Minister od Education, Theoneste Mutsindashyaka, of mismanagement of public funds and concealing foreign bank accounts from the Ombudsman.

The same court also found Joseph Bahenda, a former Kigali City Council (KCC) Director of Finance and one Umugeni Mukabalisa not guilty and acquitted them.

Bahenda and Umugeni Mukabalisa, also a former employee of KCC, had been accused by the prosecution of being party to crimes committed when Mutsindashyaka was still Mayor of Kigali City in 2004.

The prosecution had also argued that Mutsindashyaka owned accounts in Canada and the United States and the former State Minister for Primary and Secondary Education had concealed his accounts deliberately.

Another charge included accumulation of wealth beyond what Mutsindashaka’s earnings could justify.

But the court on Wednesday, said the prosecution failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt the charges against the former minister.

Prosecution had earlier told court that the Ombudsman’s findings indicated Mutsindashyaka owned four trailer trucks which he never declared and could not satisfactorily explain the source of the money he used to purchase them.

The prosecution added that Mutsindashyaka bought the trucks but registered them under his brother’s names, Jean de Dieu Mbarushimana.

The former minister was also accused of illegally approving payment of over Rwf1billion to GEOMAP, a Kenyan consultancy firm that was contracted by the City Council yet the company was not supposed to get the money.

There was excitement outside the courtroom from the accused families and friends when the Judge pronounced the ruling.

Mutsindashyaka is currently serving a one year in jail term handed to him by Kacyiru Court last year for awarding EMA, a Construction Company over Rwf 1.7 billion contract to build Eastern Province headquarters without following normal tendering procedures.

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