The development was revealed during a joint press conference organised by the Rwanda Investigation Bureau (RIB) and Prosecutor General
Havugiyaremye said that when Dr. Habumuremyi was arrested, the bounced cheques amounted to Rwf100m but since his arrest and subsequent arraignment, more people came forward with unsecured cheques, which are now worth more than Rwf200m. He said there were efforts to engage him to clear his debts but it was all in vain.
The Prosecutor General mentioned that many people he owed money had not come forward and had decided to keep quiet, given Dr. Habumuremyi’s status, but when he was arrested and arraigned in court, even those who had feared reported their cases, which is why he was denied bail, for investigations to go on.
“When we received his file, that time the bouncing cheques were just over Rwf100m but as we investigated, another person with a cheque of Rwf70m came forward and then a few more people showed up and now the cheques amount to more than Rwf200m,”
“Normally as a right given by the law, someone has a right to bail as the case continues but in his case we were continuing to receive more complaints of people he owed money. Some of these people had feared to come forward because of his status as former Prime Minister and a high ranking government official but when he was arrested and charged, they came forward,” the Prosecutor General said.
PG Havugiyaremye added that on several occasions, Dr. Habumuremyi was asked if he could clear the debts but he was non-committal, even when he was advised to sell off some of his properties to clear the debts.
It later emerged that there are more debts written under his name, including mortgaging most of his properties with banks; this bringing his liabilities to more than Rwf1bn.
He further said that efforts to give the former PM time to sort out his financial troubles, which he admitted to, yielded no fruits, leaving Prosecutors with no option but to press charges.
On whether he should have been treated differently, the PG stated that no one is above the law, regardless of their status. He explained that issues of issuing unsupported cheques is one of the most concerning crimes which are being committed deliberately, warning that this financial crime is going to be given due attention given the rate at which is being committed.