Nyarugunga Lower Court has remanded James Sano, the former Chief Executive Officer of the Water and Sanitation Corporation (WASAC) to 30 days in jail pending further investigations.
Sano and co-accused Emmanuel Kamanzi the Managing Director of Energy Development Corporation Ltd (EDCL) appeared in court today for a ruling on their pre-detention trial. They are battling charges of corruption in awarding tenders and misuse of public property.
The former WASAC boss is accused of illegally awarding a single source tender worth Rwf61m to Cerrium Advisory Ltd that was consulted to prepare and conduct exams for new employees.
Sano is accused of fraudulently awarding a tender for construction of a water station in Kayenzi-Kamonyi district worth Rwf371m without a bill of quantity.
Both officials were arrested at the beginning of the month.
Barye Rukotso a WASAC employee was presented in court as a witness in the case – he said Sano reversed the decision of the board not to approve tender to Cerrium Advisory Ltd.
“Such actions have led to lack of access to water. If you asked people in this court, at least each one of them has a testimony on how they have faced problems of water shortages. Some have been attacked by crocodiles while fetching water” the prosecutor said yesterday.
Prosecution stated that Sano also unlawfully approved an office renting contract at KAMI House located in Remera – Gisushu, worth Rwf945 504 000 for a period of three years, with each month paid at Rwf 26, 064,000.
These remarks sent court attendants (which was packed with relatives of the accused) into whispers and compelling the judge to call the audience to order.
Asked to respond to the accusations Sano pleaded innocent.
“I know that all these allegations and my arrest have been planned by the board. They are the ones who took these decisions. Rwandans shouldn’t see me as the cause of water shortage,” Sano said.
In the meantime, Kamanzi was accused of disregarding standards in issuing tenders for supply of transformers and electric poles and using public property for personal business.
He allegedly awarded a tender of 10 defective transformers and 400 electric poles worth $45,000 and $280,000 respectively and yet almost 90% of the tender payments were made to ABB Ltd in 2015.
Kamanzi denied the accusation saying that the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning and the Ministry of Infrastructure were directly responsible for approving the tenders before purchase is made.
Regarding allegations of using company vehicles for personal benefits and signing for Rwf800,000 for vehicle licensing, yet he had his own government loaned vehicle, Kamanzi said that he had apologized for this mistake.
He however, denied using EDCL drivers and trucks in transporting his timber for the construction of his house in Gasogi arguing the only one driver had tipped him of cheap timber in Kicukiro district.
“If the driver used the company truck to transport the timber, then he betrayed me. I am not aware of it and I know it is illegal,” Kamanzi told court yesterday.
Court sent the two suspects to jail awaiting hearing in 30 days, but with a possibility of appealing the ruling within five days.