Mininfra graft probe widens

• Finance director, engineer detained  KICUKIRO - Police are holding the director of finance in the Ministry of Infrastructure (MININFRA) in connection with abuse of public office, The New Times has learnt.
Augustin Nkusi.
Augustin Nkusi.

• Finance director, engineer detained 

KICUKIRO - Police are holding the director of finance in the Ministry of Infrastructure (MININFRA) in connection with abuse of public office, The New Times has learnt.

The DAF, Faustin Gacinya together with the ministry’s engineer, Eliab Munyemana were arrested yesterday for complicity in the embezzlement of Rwf 1.7billion.

The money was reportedly released to STRABAG, a construction company by the now incarcerated former Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Infrastructure, Vincent Gatwabuyenge.

The duo is being detained at Kicukiro police station as investigations into their alleged crime continue.

The National Public Prosecution Authority (NPPA) spokesperson, Augustin Nkusi, confirmed the development yesterday.

“The two are believed to have engineered a secret plan to pay STRABAG huge money yet the construction company had not done the work,” Nkunsi told this reporter at his office in Kimihurura.

“The DAF was not supposed to sanction the payments before he clearly confirmed whether the work was done,” Nkunzi added.

A highly placed source within the Ministry of Infrastructure said yesterday that other engineers had dissuaded Munyemana from signing the documents but he reportedly turned a deaf ear.

“The case against Gatwabuyenge and accomplices is ready and we shall arraign them before court soon. We have enough useful information,” Nkunsi revealed.

It is said that when other engineers refused to sign the documents sanctioning the payments, Munyemana secretly approved the documents.

By press time, The New Times could not independently verify whether Munyemana had been briefed about the development before he appended his signature.

The arrest of Gacinya and Munyemana comes a few days after the prosecution picked up two men working with Studi-International - a company that had been hired by the government to supervise the construction of the Kigali-Bugesera road.

They are Burundian national, Jean Baptiste Habyarimana and his Rwandan counterpart, Jean Ngarambe. 

“Both Ngarambe and Habyarimana made contradicting reports on the construction sites. The first report indicated that the site-centres were not constructed. Later the same individuals produced another report indicating that STRABAG had constructed the centres,” Nkusi had earlier told The New Times.

The centres included residential houses for STRABAG staff, stores and control buildings that were supposed to have been built in Kigali and Nyamata.

After receiving the two contradicting reports, Gatwabuyenge signed and authorised the release of the money to the company yet the latter had not built the centres.

The Kigali-Bugesera road had also earlier claimed more government officials, including the Director General of the Central Public Investment and External Finance Bureau (CEPEX), George Katurebe.

He was arrested, allegedly, for exonerating STRABAG, a German company from paying a fine totalling Rwf 453 million imposed by government as a penalty for delaying the construction of the road.

Nkunsi said the war against corrupt officials is on course and called upon all Rwandans to participate if the vice is to be defeated completely.

Last Wednesday, police arrested the Director General of the National Institute of Statistics (NIS), Dr. Louis Munyakazi
Munyakazi was arrested by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) on the orders of Prosecutor General, Martin Ngoga. He is being pursued for embezzlement, abuse of office, misuse of public funds and corruption.

The government recently established a new organ that will deal with corruption throughout the country.


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