Kagame grants pardon to former Prime Minister Dr. Habumuremyi

By Théophile Niyitegeka
On 14 October 2021 at 06:57

President Paul Kagame has exercised his prerogative of mercy to pardon former Premier, Dr. Pierre Damien Habumuremyi who has been serving a three-year sentence after he was found guilty of issuing unguaranteed cheques.

The pardon granted to Dr. Habumuremyi has been announced through a cabinet communiqué released on Wednesday 13th October 2021.

“Pursuant to the powers conferred upon him, His Excellency the President of the Republic granted pardon to Dr. Pierre Damien Habumuremyi,” reads part of the communiqué.

The former Prime Minister was arrested in July 2020 following the closure of the Christian University of Rwanda (CHUR) to which he was owner and legal representative.

The university management was also accused of not paying lecturers and other employees, which had prompted an audit from the Higher Education Council.

Before closure by the Ministry of Education, his university had campuses in Kigali and another one in Karongi District.

Alleged crimes were in connection to anomalies in the management of the university where he was said to have accumulated millions of francs in debts to different suppliers to his university. The university management was also accused of not paying lecturers and other employees.

Dr. Habumuremyi owned 60 percent of the university’s shares, while his son owned 30 percent and the Vice-Chancellor 10 percent.

He was charged alongside Charles Serushyana, a former accountant of the university, but he was later acquitted.

During trial proceedings, the prosecution said that Dr. Habumuremyi had over Rwf1 billion debts.

Dr. Habumuremyi appealed against the sentence recently in Nyarugenge Intermediate Court, which commuted his sentence by 1 year and 3 months.

The clemency nullifies the three-year jail term and Rwf892 fine that Dr. Habumuremyi was handed by Nyarugenge Intermediate Court on 27th November 2020.

He will however have to clear all debts he owed to plaintiffs.

Habumuremyi served as Prime Minister of Rwanda from 7th October 2011 until 24th July 2014. Since 2015, Habumuremyi has served as the chairman of Chancellery for Heroes, National Orders and Decoration of Honour prior to his arrest.

Dr. Habumuremyi was born in Ruhondo, Musanze district on 20th February 1961. He pursued studies in different countries including the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), France and Burkina Faso.

President Kagame has granted pardon to former Premier, Dr. Pierre Damien Habumuremyi.