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‘Suspicious Transaction’ Led Kagame To ‘The Mafia’ In Government

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In February, the entire government drove to the RDF Combat Training Centre in Gabiro, Gatsibo district for the 17th National Leadership Retreat chaired by President Paul Kagame from 16th to18th.

Just like in previous similar retreats, Rwandans glued to their radios and television sets very keen on knowing who Kagame would name and shame. It is characteristic during this self-assessment, a homegrown solution.

President Kagame did not disappoint.  He began giving direct hints on who was destined for roasting after the retreat; “I didn’t know this day would reach so fast. I wanted it; we are in a season where I really want to confront some complex issues.”

“Minister of defence,…Minister of Internal security. There is a case that very soon you will have to answer. It also involves the Minister of Health,” a seemingly irritated Kagame said.

The President warned the public leaders; “You are heading a ministry and you think it is yours, it is not yours.”

Since the 17th National Leadership Retreat, some cabinet ministers have lost their jobs while many other public officials are spotted reporting daily to Rwanda Investigations Bureau for questioning. Some are already in detention and others battling accountability cases in court.

There is “an ongoing investigation on matters of accountability,” a sacking letter for General Patrick Nyamvumba indicated.

However, it is obvious Kagame has staged a very aggressive fight against corruption, bad conduct among leaders, abuse of office, and power.

Piecing together this puzzle, here is a scenario that paints a picture of the presence of a mafia network in government.

According to the Auditor General’s report, billions of taxpayers’ money are increasingly being sucked from the state in very sophisticated maneuvers. And this makes President Kagame very angry.

“Anything concerning the interests of citizens or country, I promise you that we will collide. The things you are spoiling belong to Rwandans, not you,” Kagame said at the retreat.

Kagame Intercepts Fraudulent Buying & Selling of a Building

Details have emerged that at the beginning of 2018, the government instructed the purchase of a building from which one of the state security agencies would permanently coordinate its activities.

The search began to find a suitable building.  Suitors chose one at Kacyiru and owned by A&P Ltd Company.

The Government expressed interest in the building and thus initiated negotiations.  A source told Taarifa that the President disapproved of the location due to security concerns of the location.

The purchase of the building should have been a closed chapter.

A new process was initiated, and the government had to find other institutions to occupy the building.

Apparently, the initial cost of the building was ignored, and thus the essence of the new negotiation process, according to sources.

At that time, Infrastructure Minister, James Musoni, ordered for setting up of a negotiating team including; (team leader) Christian Rwakunda, Permanent Secretary (MINIFRA), Godfrey  Kabera, Director General of National Development Planning at MINECOFIN, Eric Serubibi, Director General, Rwanda Housing Authority (RHA).

According to sources, Rwanda Housing Authority hired a property valuer, Gasabo 3D, to evaluate the A&P Ltd building located opposite Umubano Hotel at Kacyiru from where The New Times newspaper previously operated.

The RHA valuer narrowed at Rwf 7.5billion. However, another property valuer Integrated Shelter, hired by A&P Ltd gave it a total cost of Rwf 9.6 billion.

In the first round of negotiations (chaired by Rwakunda Christian Rwakunda), those representing A&P Ltd said the value-report that had been presented was not meant for use in the selling of the building but for insurance.

They requested to be given time to put together another value-report that could reflect the true market value for the building and presented before May 15, 2018.

The seller made a U-turn at the negotiating table and claimed he had presented the wrong documents.

Later, the A&P Ltd representatives sent via email a value-report indicating the cost of this building as Rwf14billion.

Christian Rwakunda, (PS Mininfra) chaired two rounds of negotiations and there was no agreement reached in both rounds.

However, the government was only willing to buy the building at Rwf 8 billion yet the owners of the building were willing to settle for Rwf 11 billion.

The third round of negotiation was held on May 18th, 2018, and chaired by Permanent Secretary of Minecofin (Rwamuganza). In the negotiations, the government agreed to purchase this building at Rwf 9.8 billion excluding taxes.

It is not understood why the government negotiating team would disregard a lower price provided by Gasabo 3D and settle for a higher cost.

After settling for Rwf 9.8 billion, Eric Serubibi, the Director-General for Rwanda Housing Authority, on August 22nd, 2018, wrote to Rwanda Public Procurement Authority (RPPA) a letter titled – ‘Request for no objection to use Single Source Method to Award Tender for Acquisition of a Building  for Office Use.’

Serubibi also attached another letter titled, ‘Justification note for the award of the tender for the acquisition of buildings for office use’.

Meanwhile, the following day August 23rd, 2018, Minister Claver Gatete, also wrote a letter titled, “Supporting Letter” requesting for no objection to use “Single Source” method to award the tender for “Acquisition of a Building for Office.”

Minister Gatete was appointed as the Minister of Infrastructure on April 6th, 2018. Prior to this appointment, he served as Minister of Finance.

Later on August 28th, 2018, Serubibi of Rwanda Housing Authority wrote to Justice Ministry “Request for Legal Opinion on Sale and Purchase Agreement between RHA and A&P Ltd” and attached another document titled ‘Draft Agreement’.

Serubibi’s presentation to the Justice Ministry is illegal because there had not been any tendering process done and therefore the purchase agreement was illegal. There can only be a purchase agreement resulting from a formal tendering process yet in this case it did not happen.

In a close audit of tenders at the Rwanda Housing Authority, it was discovered that the agency made an ‘Invitation for bids’ on October 2nd, 2018, while the following day October 3rd, 2018, was for ‘Opening of Bids’.

Carefully, on October 9th, 2018, Serubibi wrote to an association of property valuers requesting them to provide a property valuer because Rwanda Housing Authority (RHA) urgently wanted to purchase a building.

He argued that he had two value-reports, one from RHA and another from the proprietor but “they do not provide good guidance”.

The association of property valuers received the request letter on October 10th, 2018, and dispatched one Bonaventure Munyabugingo to do the job. The following day on October 11th, 2018, Munyabugingo submitted a report on the value of the building (UPI: 1/02/08/01/481) giving it a cost of Rwf13.5 billion.

However, it is not known how this property valuer Munyabugingo could manage to survey the gigantic building and give it a cost in just 24 hours. There is suspicion of connivance.

Meanwhile, it was also discovered there was another value-report in possession with Rwanda Housing Authority conducted on September 8th, 2018, by Integrated Shelter, giving the building a cost of Rwf11.9 billion. However, this report was never used or mentioned during the negotiations.

A highly placed source in the corridors of power indicates that President Kagame at some point inquired about the goings-on regarding this purchase file. It appeared to him that the first and the second acquisition carried in the price. That is where all suspicions began.

Detectives at RIB responded with action. Investigators from the Economic Crime Unit were deployed to meticulously dig into the details of the case.

Every official who was involved in one way or another, even by being mentioned by suspects, has been interrogated. All the Directors, Ministers, and Permanent Secretaries have been questioned.

RIB eventually submitted a charge sheet to prosecution and a court processing is underway.

Except for Ministers, the PSs and Directors are all under detention, pending a court ruling on their bail application before the substantive hearing begins.

Meanwhile, another case involving King Faisal Hospital undergoing a U$20 million face-lift has triggered some arrests. Sources say that RIB is investigating the possibilities of bribery during the negotiations.

A source privy to internal dynamics of government told Taarifa that there is a suspect who might have facilitated the crime. The suspect has been under detention for several weeks.

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11 Comments

11 Comments

  1. Boris

    June 18, 2020 at 10:41 pm

    Mafias are always there but due to the connivance and tricky channels, they manage to use ghost companies to do false procurements yet genuine and competitive service providers are available on the market

  2. Aimable Rwiliriza

    June 18, 2020 at 11:19 pm

    For the first time,..I have found local online Paper I can follow. Well searched , investigated news. Hongera Kaka. Keep up the professional journalism.

    • Ingabire

      June 28, 2020 at 9:26 am

      Very satisfying and on point am telling you.
      Taarifa is the best Media in Rwanda since 2017 infact

  3. Viboy

    June 19, 2020 at 9:14 am

    The difference of 2billions eaten by big fishes😂 Mana wee.
    Umushomeri akirirwa asaba akazi ba ministers nabandi uti genda wihangire imirimo. When accountability comes bamukuraho agahunga akirirwa avuga nabi l’Etat yariye,kuki atavuze mbere? Thx alots Magnus komeza uyikurikirane.

  4. Ingabire

    June 28, 2020 at 9:28 am

    Very well reaserached and very informative.
    When will this nonsense of stealing Gov’t money with the leaders we trusted end? Seems that they are hungry and will not stop!!
    Proud of our president who will never rest until this all is settled!!

  5. Muneza

    June 30, 2020 at 7:10 am

    Tuzagutora HE,

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Rwanda Police Chief Briefs 240 Officers Ahead Of S. Sudan Deployment

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The Inspector General of Police (IGP) Dan Munyuza, on Tuesday, March 9, briefed 240 police officers set to be deployed for peacekeeping duties under the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).

The pre-deployment briefing of the hybrid Formed Police Unit-One (FPU-1) contingent was held at the Rwanda National Police (RNP) General Headquarters in Kacyiru.

The contingent commanded by Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP) Faustin Kalimba, will replaced the same number in Malakal, Upper Nile State where they will be largely charged with protection of civilians in internally displaced camps, UN personnel, security of key installations and humanitarian assistance, among others.

IGP Munyuza urged the officers to use their experience and the high level of training acquired to execute their peacekeeping mandate effectively.

He further reminded them that they will work with other peacekeepers from different countries and they will have to exercise respect of diversity.

“Learning will be continuous throughout your tour-of-duty, use your experience to build on what your predecessors achieved, cooperative with other peacekeepers in the mission area and respect the people under your protection as well as their culture,” IGP Munyuza emphasized.

He urged them to keep up the good conduct and protect the image set by previous contingents adding that ” you are representing your country, be at the best of your performance.”

“Your country and Rwanda National Police in particular, have full trust in you, resilience and sacrifice are key. Remember, your conduct and professionalism will depict the image and values of Rwandans, ensure your performance is exceptionally good and maintain the same spirit to the end of your mission,” said IGP Munyuza.

The Police Chief reminded them that Rwandan peacekeepers are defined by their professionalism, discipline, teamwork, integrity, values and alertness, and urged them to keep the momentum to “maintain and protect the image and reputation.”

He emphasized that respecting each other and their superiors in particular, discipline, hard work, teamwork, dignity and respect for diversity are strong guiding values and principles which will help them towards mission excellence.

IGP Munyuza appealed to the officers to maintain the spirit of supporting others and to engage in human security activities with the local people they are mandated to serve.

‘’Participating in human security activities is our culture as Rwandans, you should not only conduct peacekeeping duties just to maintain peace and security. It goes beyond that as our tradition to work towards the overall wellbeing of the people,” IGP Munyuza said.

As the wolrd is still faced with the pandemic of COVID-19, the Police Chief reminded them to always observe all health guidelines including wearing face masks, avoiding shaking hands, washing hands and practicing social distancing, among others.

This will be the sixth rotation of FPU-1 hybrid since the first one was deployed in South Sudan in 2015.

It is also one of the three Rwandan FPU contingents currently deployed in South Sudan.

Currently, RNP maintains over 1000 police peacekeepers in various UN missions, including six contingents serving in UNMISS and the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA).

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Chinese Companies Win Tender to Construct Railway From Mwanza to Isaka 

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The Standard Gauge Railway from Mwanza to Isaka in neighbouring Tanzania will be constructed by two Chinese Companies that have won a lucrative tender for this job.

Prof. Palamagamba Kabudi Tanzania’s foreign minister said on Thursday during a presser on the eve of the Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi’s two-day visit to Tanzania.

The Mwanza-Isaka railway stretch will cover a distance of 341 kilometres and construction is estimated to cost TShs3 trillion will be handled by China Civil Engineering Construction (CCEC) and China Railway Construction Company (CRCC).

The Tanzanian government through the Tanzania Railway Corporation (TRC) is constructing a 2,561Km SGR network that links Dar es Salaam, Mwanza, Kigoma, Katavi and neighboring countries of Rwanda, Burundi Uganda and DRC.

The over Sh7 trillion project is being implemented in phases with the first round covering 202km between Dar es Salaam and Morogoro, was initially scheduled to be ready by November 2020 but heavy rains disrupted construction works.

Construction of the first and the second phase is being undertaken by Turkish construction company, Yapi Markez.

The first phase will have six main stations at Dar es Salaam, Pugu, Soga, Ruvu, Ngerengere and Morogoro, with the Dar es Salaam and Morogoro stations being the largest.

The second phase which is under implementation involves 422km between Morogoro and Makutupora in Singida with the project set to be completed within 36 months at a cost of $1,924 billion.

The railway is East Africa’s fastest and will use electricity to move trains will travel at 160km per hour and transport 10,000 tonnes of freight which is equivalent to 500 cargo trucks.

Upon completion, the SGR project is expected to payback the investment value after 15 years.

In October 2020, Tanzania government signed $60 million (about Sh138 billion) contract with a South Korean firm to supply trains for the standard gauge railway (SGR).

 

The Citizen

 

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Trump Attacks Election Integrity As Biden Nears 270 Electoral College Votes

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President Donald Trump is testing how far he can go in using the trappings of presidential power to undermine confidence in this week’s election against Joe Biden, as the Democrat contender gained ground in tight contests in some key battleground states.

With his pathway to re-election appearing to shrink, Trump has advanced unsupported accusations of voter fraud to falsely argue that his rival was trying to seize power. Thursday’s moves amounted to an extraordinary effort by a sitting American president to sow doubt about the democratic process.

“This is a case when they are trying to steal an election, they are trying to rig an election,” Trump said from the podium of the White House briefing room.

The president’s remarks deepened a sense of anxiety in the U.S. as Americans enter their third full day after the election without knowing who would serve as president for the next four years.

His statements also prompted a rebuke from some Republicans, particularly those looking to steer the party in a different direction in a post-Trump era.

Electoral college magic number

Neither candidate has reached the 270 Electoral College votes needed to win the White House. But Biden eclipsed Trump in Wisconsin and Michigan, two crucial Midwestern battleground states, and has been inching closer to overtaking the president in Pennsylvania and Georgia, where votes are still being counted. It remains unclear when a national winner will be declared after a long, bitter campaign dominated by the coronavirus and its effects on Americans and the national economy.

On Wednesday, The U.S.set another record for daily confirmed cases as several states posted all-time highs. The pandemic has killed more than 233,000 people in the United States.

Rising tensions

Biden spent Thursday trying to ease tensions and project a more traditional image of presidential leadership. After participating in a coronavirus briefing, he declared that “each ballot must be counted.”

“I ask everyone to stay calm. The process is working,” Biden said. “It is the will of the voters. No one, not anyone else who chooses the president of the United States of America.”

 

Biden’s victories in the upper Midwest put him in a strong position, but Trump showed no sign of giving up. It could take several more days for the vote count to conclude and a clear winner to emerge. With millions of ballots yet to be tabulated, Biden already had received more than 73 million votes, the most in history.

Trump’s erroneous claims about the integrity of the election challenged Republicans now faced with the choice of whether to break with a president who, though his grip on his office grew tenuous, commanded sky-high approval ratings from rank-and-file members of the GOP.

Lawsuits and late mail-in ballots

Trump’s campaign engaged in a flurry of legal activity to try to improve the Republican president’s chances, requesting a recount in Wisconsin and filing lawsuits in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Georgia. Judges in Georgia and Michigan quickly dismissed Trump campaign lawsuits there on Thursday.

Trump has held a small edge in Georgia, though Biden has been gaining on him as votes continue to be counted. The same is true in Pennsylvania, where Trump’s lead had slipped to about 22,000 votes — and the race is destined to get tighter.

One reason is because elections officials were not allowed to process mail-in ballots until Election Day under state law. It’s a form of voting that has skewed heavily in Biden’s favour after Trump spent months claiming without proof that voting by mail would lead to widespread voter fraud.

Mail ballots from across the state were overwhelmingly breaking in Biden’s direction. A final vote total may not be clear for days because the use of mail-in ballots, which take more time to process, has surged as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Trump campaign said it was confident the president would ultimately pull out a victory in Arizona, where votes were also still being counted, including in Maricopa County, the state’s most populous area.

The AP has declared Biden the winner in Arizona and said Thursday that it was monitoring the vote count as it proceeded.

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