Alex Kanyankole, former CEO of Rwanda Development Bank (BRD) appeared before Nyarugenge Primary Court where several charges were read to him. He has been under detention for days.
Dressed in black shoes, a black suit, a checked shirt and sun glasses, Kanyankole was represented by two defense lawyers, Emmanuel Rukangira and Alice Umuliza while prosecution was represented by Michel Nshimiyimana and Charles Kanyove.
The accusations are based on the decisions he individually took at different occasions in giving loans worth about US$12 million.
Prosecution told court that in one of the accounts, Kanyankole asked and received illegal benefits in order to offer a service when one Abdou Gahima representing Good Harvest Primary School applied to take over a loan of Rwf591,351,688 owed by Parmalac belonging to Omar Nzamwita.
Parmalac company had failed to pay back the said loan.
Prosecution says on realizing that Gahima did not have all the requirements to access the loan, Kanyankole asked and received a bribe of Rwf50 million through a BRD staff, Juvenal Karema.
Prosecution states that in September last year, Kanyankole individually approved a loan to Abdou Gahima without the knowledge of BRD loans committee, which (the committee) he later arbitrarily disbanded without following standard administrative procedures.
Other illegal benefits that Kanyankole allegedly asked from Gahima include a medical device that treats back complications.
On favoritism, prosecution says Kanyankole committed the offense when he illegally approved loans including US$8 million given to Top Service, a local fertilizer distributing company, with neither the involvement and or approval of BRD’s Loans’ Committee nor in consultation with the Board of Directors, which under the Bank’s regulations, approves all loans of more than Rwf600 million.
Prosecution also explained that the mortgages presented were registered in the names of a different company, UWIMU, in form of produce stores in Musanze District, which (UWIMU) was also still servicing a BRD extended loan facility.
Another show of favoritism raised by prosecution is when the accused single-handedly granted US$3, 433, 200 million loan to Trust Industries in 2017.
The loans committee decided to stop the loan on account of poor loan servicing by Trust Industries in the past but Kanyankole reportedly approved the loan to Trust Industries on June 22, 2017.
Abdou Gahima who was in court as a witness testified that Kanyankole used Juvenal Karema to ask him for the bribe in order to be granted the loan. Gahima said he gave the money to Karema who later gave it to Kanyankole.
Gahima said after giving the bribe to Kanyankole, his loan application was approved without producing any security. He also revealed that he bought the medical equipment for Kanyankole’s back soothing.
Prosecution said that all accusations and attendant evidence are well documented in the case file, calling upon court to keep the suspect in government custody because if released on bail he might interfere with investigations and alter the course of justice.
Kanyankole defends himself
On illegal benefits he got from Abdou Gahima, Kanyankole said that it didn’t happen and he didn’t commit it. He said, “There was no reason for me to ask the bribe from him [Gahima].”
On the Rwf50 million he is alleged to have received from Gahima, he said, “That is a naked lie intended to harass me. How was I given that sum of money? Was it handed to me by cash in a bag? Was it by cheque? Was it by bank? That never happened and it can never be. I want to emphasize that it is not possible.”
His lawyers said he could not ask the bribe to buy €61 sun glasses because he was able to buy them by himself.
Kanyankole pleaded not guilty of all the accusations and told court that every decision he took had been approved by the Board of Directors.
He says he is sick, won’t flee justice if granted bail.
Kanyankole applied for bail saying he back and stomach ache problems. He said his address is known and can’t flee justice.
“The investigation has been done for a year now. I am no longer the CEO of BRD so I cannot interfere with investigations. I suffer from a backache and stomach illnesses and I have got medical documents to prove my submission,” he explained.
“Having been in financial management positions for 15 years, nobody has ever complained about my integrity. Gahima is wrongly accusing me because we did not agree on the management of this project and its loan paying processes,” he added.
Kanyankole’s lawyer Rukangira said the investigations have been done for a year and there’s no evidence to pin his client of not consulting BRD Board of Directors before approving the loans and so asked court to release him on bail.
The decision on Kanyankole’s bail application will be read on October 23, 2018 at 4:00pm.