The intermediate court of Nyarugenge, yesterday sentenced Marc Kabandana, the former Director General of Rwanda Institute of Administration and Management (RIAM) to five and a half years in prison for embezzling public funds and flouting tendering procedures.
Kabandana was sentenced alongside Faustin Mugisha, the former Director of Finance and Annette Mbabazi, the institute’s former accountant, who also received the same sentence as their former boss.
Kabandana was also fined Rwf 25,000 for embezzlement and Rwf250,000 for flouting tender procedures while Mugisha and Mbabazi were also handed fines, Mugisha was fined Rwf25,000 for not declaring his wealth with the Ombudsman’s office while Mbabazi will pay the same for embezzlement.
Seven more accomplices in the high profile corruption case were also sentenced to varying stints in jail for conniving with RIAM officials to embezzle millions from the institution, leading to a loss of over Rwf 203m.
The officials were found guilty of awarding themselves bonuses and travel allowances as well as conniving with ‘businessmen’ to award illegal tenders from which they pocketed massive kickbacks from alleged tender winners.
Others sentenced along with the RIAM bosses include Robert Butera, Dominic Rwaka and Fidele Nkubito who were handed similar sentences.
Samuel Mupenzi who posed as a supplier along with Rwaka, Steven Kagame, Alex Bazatsinda, Gerard Shyaka, Sylvere Kwiringira and Richard Mugabo were dully handed 7 years and 6 months in prison.
The whole group which has a chance to appeal the verdict in 30 days, will also be fined Rwf329,000 and also Rwf700,000 for being party to the “circle with a calculated plan” to embezzle public funds and cause public loss.
Court also found Kabandana and Mugisha, who partly admit to the charges, guilty of deliberately pocketing huge allowances meant for travelling and “lump sums” in form of bonuses, deposited on their accounts, at times twice a month.
Kabandana, who did not appear at the ruling, was arrested in September last year after an internal audit by the Auditor Generals offices unearthed gross mismanagement of resources and embezzlement in the government capacity building institution.