At this point we cannot say we have enough evidence -RIB talks about Minister Gatete’s investigation

By Nicole Kamanzi M.
On 29 July 2020 at 02:42

Rwanda Investigation Bureau (RIB) Secretary General Col (Rtd) Jeannot Ruhunga says they are still investigating the Minister of Infrastructure Amb. Claver Gatete on his alleged role in ongoing cases of misuse of public resources involving the ministry he heads.

The clarification was in a joint press conference with the Prosecutor General Aimable Havugiyaremye on Tuesday that Ruhunga confirmed that investigations on Gatete, which started at the end of June after the Minister was mentioned in several cases involving mismanagement or misappropriation of funds, are still ongoing.

He explained that there are several investigations and cases in court in which the Minister has been mentioned, which prompted the investigative body to conduct investigations to ascertain his role but did not say if they have found any incriminating proof against the Minister.

“At this point we cannot say we have enough evidence to suggest that he was directly involved in embezzling or mismanaging funds for us to arrive at a conclusion but the investigations are continuing. We will let you know the outcome,” Ruhunga said.

Gatete’s troubles emanate from an ongoing case in which high ranking officials, including Caleb Rwamuganza, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, are accused of flouting tender procedures to cause a loss to the taxpayer by prompting the government to purchase a building at a price which is Rwf2bn higher than its actual cost.

Among the accused are; Godfrey Kabera, the Director-General in the Ministry of Finance, Eric Serubibi, the former Director-General of Rwanda Housing Authority (RHA) and Christian Rwakunda, who was Deputy Director-General in Rwanda Social Security Board (RSSB), Aloys Rusizana, the owner of the disputed building located in Kacyiru, and Bonaventure Munyabugingo, a private property valuer, who is accused of conspiring with the defendants to buy the building at Rwf9.85bn yet it had been proved that it was worth at least Rwf7.6bn

Defendants allege that Minister Gatete was the one who ordered the urgent meetings with the investor who owned the house to negotiate a price and make a deal in a short time.

Serubibi told court that Gatete was telling him he was the one delaying the case; that if they did not make a deal soon there would be no budget available and that there was urgency in moving in government agency.

When asked why Minister Gatate was still in office yet he is still under investigation, RIB SG said that they have not found anything incriminating the senior minister but ultimately it is the appointing authority to decide whether he remains in office or not.

“It is not in our mandate to answer why Minister Gatete is still in office. Our job is to investigate allegations and report to prosecution. The appointing authority determines whether one remains in office or not, when investigations are ongoing,” Ruhunga said.

RIB Secretary General Col (Rtd) Jeannot Ruhunga said that they have not found anything incriminating Amb. Claver Gatete yet