UPDATE: Court acquits ex-minister Imena

The Nyarugenge Intermediate Court on Thursday afternoon dismissed all charges against former State Minister for Mining, Evode Imena, saying there was no incriminating evidence.
Former state minister in charge of mining, Evode Imena. (File photo)
Former state minister in charge of mining, Evode Imena. (File photo)

The Nyarugenge Intermediate Court on Thursday afternoon dismissed all charges against former State Minister for Mining, Evode Imena, saying there was no incriminating evidence.

This follows a substantive hearing held on 8 November, during which prosecution claimed the former cabinet member had committed nepotism and favouritism in awarding a mining concession in Nyaruguru District.

The judge ruled that there was no evidence presented to pin the former minister on favouritism or even nepotism, adding that he had acted within the law.

Court also dismissed the civil action filed by local businessman Straton Ndamage who claimed he lost millions as a result of the revocation of his mining license.  

Only Imena’s lawyer, Kamanzi Cyuma was present during the pronouncement of the ruling.

During the hearing, Straton Ndamage, the director of Nyaruguru Mining Company Ltd, had urged that his company lost a lot of money because of a decision taken by Imena while still a minister.

He was seeking Rwf686,628,609 arising from what he claimed were losses accrued when he lost the concession under what he called unfair circumstances.

Presenting his defence at the time, Imena had told court that he was in office between February 26, 2013 and October 4, 2016, arguing that some letters used to pin him are irrelevant because they were written before he even got into office.

He added that before he assumed office, the former Minister for Natural Resources, Stanislas Kamanzi, had already revoked the concession by Ndamage’s company, a claim that was not disputed by the latter.

Neither Imena, nor Ndamage was present in court during the ruling.

Court gave pleaders five days within which to appeal in case any was dissatisfied with the ruling.

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