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Former REB Officials Released On Bail, Contractor Not Yet Apprehended

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Former REB Officials Released On Bail, Contractor Not Yet Apprehended

Former Director Generals of the Rwanda Education Board (REB) Dr John Rutayisire and Janvier Gasana have been released on bail.

The Court of First Instance in Kacyiru ordered for their immediate release, after dismissing the prosecution’s plea that they remain under custody.  

Rutayisire was head of REB in 2011, and was replaced by Janvier Gasana in 2015. 

They were arrested on March 21 by the Rwanda Investigation Bureau (RIB) for allegedly conniving to fraudulently award a tender to hire a warehouse for storing computers and insuring them against damages and loss.

The contractor, one FRANCOIS NAMBAJIMANA is on the run. Prosecution said it has ordered RIB to hunt him down.  

The tender involved renting a warehouse at a tune of about Rwf16 million per month for about 100,000 laptops meant for the One Laptop per Child program.

In actual sense, the government had never procured such a large number of XO computers.

It is alleged the officials signed off hiring the space at Rwf 26,000 per square meter which is way too much compared to market price of about Rwf16,000 or less.

The whole contract involved up to Rwf249m.

The case arose from the reports of the Auditor General.

However, as Rutayisire and Gasana remained in custody for more than three weeks, the contractor, has yet to be found. 

The officials had been battling to be freed on bail, and prosecution has been fighting to maintain them in preventive detention for a month in order to complete investigations. 

However, in its decision today, court agreed with the defense that the suspects can be tried while out of jail, but also granted prosecution at least 30 days for appealing.

It means, the appeals court could rule they be out in custody.

Neither the accused nor the prosecution team were in court as the bail decision was being delivered, according to The Chronicles. 

Initially, the hearing was scheduled yesterday on April 8, but was postponed because apparently the judge had other engagements.

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