NGO official handed ten years for swindling funds

KICUKIRO - A court in Kicukiro District has sentenced former Christian Action for Development (CAD) legal representative to ten years’ imprisonment.

KICUKIRO - A court in Kicukiro District has sentenced former Christian Action for Development (CAD) legal representative to ten years’ imprisonment.

The official, Silas Munyaneza, had been accused of fraudulently collecting money from over 900 students as ‘registration fee’ after which, he promised to fund their studies.

Each of the conned students paid Rwf 300,000 as ‘registration fee’. His cover was blown after some institutions of higher learning started sacking the students for delaying to clear their tuition fees.

Institutions that include; ISAIE Busogo, Université Laïque Adventiste de Kigali (UNILAK), National University of Rwanda (NUR), UAAC Masoro, UCK and UNATEK expelled more than 500 students after Munyaneza failed to settle their fees.

Munyaneza reportedly received about Rwf600 million from different donors between 2007/8, and the funds were meant to assist university students and victims of last year’s earthquake in the Western Province.

Immediately after the February 2008 earthquake, Munyaneza reportedly approached donors in England and the US soliciting for funds to intervene in constructing houses and schools destroyed by the quake.

Some documents from UK donors indicate that he also received over Rwf 18 million but there was no evidence on the ground to show how it was spent.

Augustine Nkusi, Spokes person of the National Prosecution Authority, confirmed the development on Monday and said Munyaneza was sentenced on embezzlement charges.

“Yes, he was getting money from donors on the pretext that he was helping vulnerable students in Rwanda. But he would diverted the money for his personal interest,” Nkusi told The New Times by phone.

He said Munyaneza was sentenced after thorough investigations proved that he had embezzled the funds meant for the needy. But the fate of the conned university students who were promised scholarships by CAD, a faith-based Non Governmental Organisation (NGO), still hangs in balance.

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