The Nyarugenge Intermediate Court on Friday slapped the former Minister of State in-charge of Primary and Secondary Education, Dr. Isaac Munyakazi with a ten-year sentence in jail for abuse of power.
The embattled former Minister, who resigned in February has since been involved in a corruption related case after he was arrested for allegedly being a matchmaker in a Rwf500, 000 bribery scandal.
Munyakazi is alleged to have taken the bribe from Abdou Gahima, the proprietor of Good Harvest Primary School so as to alter end of year school examination results placing the school among top 10 performers in the 2019 secondary school examination results placements, despite the school having performed poorly.
While appearing in the same court in September, Munyakazi and Gahima said there is no evidence to prove that this alleged act happened despite the fact that it is one of the reasons that one of his clients resigned from civil service in February.
However, prosecution brought out new details and evidence showing how the bribery deal was plotted, where the involved parties met at different hotel spots in Kigali before exchanging brown envelops and hands.
Munyakazi was believed to be the middle man who handed over the cash to one Alphonse Sebaganwa- Head of the Department of Examination, Selection and Assessment at Rwanda Education Board (REB) to manipulate the actual school positions placing Good Harvest Primary School among the top performers.
During this September trial Munyakazi denied the allegations in the prosecution evidence and instead asked that the accomplice (Alphonse Sebaganwa) who informed authorities of the alleged bribery should also stand the same trial.
Based on this new evidence, where the informant accomplice was spared the duress testifying under the anti-corruption law, the court overruled possibilities of having the whistleblower in court.
Then, Prosecution stood ground seeking a seven-year jail sentence to Munyakazi plus a fine of Rwf5million while Gahima was proposed to get five years and a fine of Rwf2million, of which the court said it will read its ruling today (October 16, 2020).
Court today found Dr. Munyakazi guilty based on evidence indicating his abuse of power and handed him ten years behind bars, and a Rwf10million court fine.
His co-accused, Abdu Gahima also got five year in jail and a court fine of Rwf1.5million, which is less or more the same as the earlier proposal by prosecution to hand him five years, and a fine of Rwf2million..
Munyakazi and his accomplice has the next five working days to consult with lawyers to appeal the sentence, which can be reversed, reduced, upheld, increased or cleared by another court based on the available evidence.