Rwan­dan paras­tatal bosses taken to court

The East African - - NEWS - By RODRIGUE RWIRAHIRA Spe­cial Cor­re­spon­dent

TWO OF­FI­CIALS of Rwan­dan util­i­ties were on Thurs­day ar­raigned in court over mis­man­age­ment of pub­lic prop­erty.

Emmanuel Ka­manzi, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of the En­ergy De­vel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion, and James Sano, for­mer chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer of Water and San­i­ta­tion Cor­po­ra­tion were charged in Nyaru­gunga Pri­mary Court.

The court heard that Mr Sano presided over fi­nan­cial mis­man­age­ment, mak­ing high pay­ments in rent for the premises hous­ing the in­sti­tu­tion, and il­le­gal­i­ties in ten­der­ing for some pro­jects.

The pros­e­cu­tion blamed the water short­age in var­i­ous parts of the coun­try to mis­man­age­ment at the cor­po­ra­tion.

Mr Ka­manzi was charged with over­see­ing fraud­u­lent ac­tiv­ity, mis­man­age­ment and mis­use of pub­lic as­sets. The award of ten­ders which re­sulted in the sup­ply of 10 de­fec­tive trans­form­ers and 400 sub­stan­dard elec­tric­ity poles worth $45,000 and $280,000 re­spec­tively was cited in the case.

“All th­ese charges con­sti­tute se­ri­ous grounds for us to call for a pro­vi­sional de­ten­tion of 30 days of the ac­cused to al­low more time for in­ves­ti­ga­tions,” state prose­cu­tors told court.

The two de­nied the charges and sought to be re­leased.

Mr Sano told the court that all the de­ci­sions, taken dur­ing his ten­ure as CEO, were le­gal bind­ing and not uni­lat­eral since they in­volved rec­om­men­da­tions from the board of di­rec­tors.

Mr Ka­manzi said pur­chases went through a joint ten­der­ing com­mit­tee in­volv­ing Min­istry of Fi­nance and Min­istry of In­fra­struc­ture, whose fi­nal rec­om­men­da­tions he ap­proved.

On Mon­day, Pres­i­dent Paul Kagame, while launch­ing the ju­di­cial year, urged the ju­di­ciary to shun cor­rup­tion and en­sure that cor­rup­tion cases are dealt with de­ci­sively

Rwanda’s ef­forts to fight cor­rup­tion have been lauded glob­ally, but anti-graft watch­dogs have faulted the gov­ern­ment of shield­ing high rank­ing of­fi­cials from pros­e­cu­tion while sac­ri­fic­ing “small fish”.

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