Rwandan parastatal bosses taken to court

By RODRIGUES RWIRAHIRA
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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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