Prosecutors and detectives are still digging dirt into alleged mismanagement of billions of francs of state funds by Infrastructure Minister, Claver Gatete.
Rwanda Investigation Bureau (RIB) Secretary-General, Col (Rtd) Jannot Ruhunga, told journalists on Tuesday evening that his team is still piecing together details that might be vital in pinning or clearing the troubled Minister.
Minister Gatete is mentioned several times in the case involving four senior government officials who are accused of illegally procuring a property from a city businessman and at an inflated rate, causing the government to lose over Rwf2billion.
The property in question was purchased at Rwf9.85billion contrary to Rwf7.6billion as suggested by an independent valuer. Only Rwf5billion had been paid.
In defense, one of the key suspects, former Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance, Caleb Rwamuganza, piled blamed on the Minister that all he did was to execute instructions from his boss.
Rwamuganza’s submission to court was that the Minister instructed him to negotiate payment terms and “try to negotiate” the price if possible, but not to reject purchase of the property.
All suspects, including Godfrey Kabera, the Director-General in the Ministry of Finance, Eric Serubibi, the former Director-General of Rwanda Housing Authority (RHA) and Christian Rwakunda, former Deputy Director-General of Rwanda Social Security Board (RSSB) and the businessman, Aloys Rusizana, are still detained pending further court hearings.
However, during interrogations and initial hearing, some of the suspects, particularly Rwamuganza, requested that the Minister be summoned to answer some of the allegations attributed to them.
The court is yet to do so, but RIB is conducting investigations into the allegations.
RIB boss, Ruhunga, said investigations on Gatete are still underway and his file is not yet formally opened. “We are still collecting information,” he said. “We will let you know the outcome.”
Minister Gatete, a source told Taarifa, is yet to hire a lawyer to answer any of the ongoing interrogations., although RIB boss noted that Gatete is still regarded and treated an innocent man until courts prove him guilty in the event his file is submitted to the court for prosecution.
Gatete’s interrogations began at the end of June following President Paul Kagame’s reprimand during the Rwanda Patriotic Front expanded National Executive Committee (NEC) on June 26 and instructing RIB and Police to investigate him.
Among other cases, the Minister is accused of flouting a tendering process that ended up him ordering Rwanda Housing Authority to award a tender to a Kenyan company, ‘Out Of The Box’, to develop a software for managing government properties by Rwanda Housing Authority.