August 10, 2019

Ex-UR Official Accused of Rwf 1billion Tender Fraud Now Vying For Kigali Council


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Pundence Rubingisa who is vying for Kigali Council

Pudence Rubingisa, the ex-University of Rwanda deputy vice chancellor in charge of finance and administration is among those seeking to be on the all-powerful Council of Kigali City.

Rubingisa is on the list of candidates released by the National Electoral Commission vying to represent Gasabo district on the Council.

Under the new law governing a reformed and largely centralised Kigali, the City Council includes elected councillors and professionals appointed by the President.

City Council itself will reduce from current 33 individuals elected from a complicated mechanism. The new Council will have 11 members: a man and woman from each district making it 6 elected Councillors, and 5 professionals appointed by Presidential Order.

Rubingisa wants to be among the 2 councillors for Gasabo district, that is if he sails through in the elections due next week on August 17.

In August 2017, Rubingisa was arrested along with several other officials by the National Public Prosecution Authority.

He would go on to be prosecuted on allegations of awarding undue advantage during the execution of a UR tender by Exert Engineering Group, which was to undertake construction works at the institution’s campus in Nyagatare district.

According to the charge sheet, Rubingisa at different times, authorised payments to the contractor, all totalling over Rwf1bn, despite there being no works on the ground to justify the payment.

Rubingisa was also accused of conniving to forge documents to hide the fraud.

However, the case did not start for months later, as Rubingisa battled for bail which was granted.

In April the following year, 2018, Parliament raised concerns over Rubingisa’s bail with Justice Minister and Attorney General Johnston Busingye.

During a session on April 5 that year, where Busingye was briefing parliament on progress to deal with issues raised by Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC), lawmakers were not happy Rubingisa was free, despite causing the taxpayer huge losses.

Minister Busingye told parliament it was illegal to discuss a matter before court, as he could be accused of interference and making judgement.
He said under Rwanda’s laws, suspects are innocent until proven guilty and that bail is a legal right.

The case has yet to be disposed off.

From among the Kigali Councillors elected, a chairperson will be elected – taking up a role as overseer of Kigali’s Mayor and all other aspects of the new administrative system. That chairperson could be Rubingisa.

The NEC list of candidates

UPDATE: As per update we received, Pudence Rubingisa was cleared by the court of any wrongdoing. Prosecution did not appeal

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