Prosecution in Nyagatare Primary court has requested the court to put on remand former governor of Eastern Province (CG)Emmanuel K. Gasana.
The former governor CG(Rtd) Gasana was suspended from office on October 25 and arrested a couple of hours later. Today, he appeared in this pre-detention hearing in a case where he is accused of asking and accepting favors and abuse of functions.
In the courtroom where recording and taking photos was restricted, the prosecution shared the basis of their allegation against Gasana and they traced the case to May 2022.
On this day, it is alleged that an investor called Eric Karinganire of Akagera BTC who was in charge of water supply in the Karenge and Gahengeri sectors of Rwamagana district farms raised a concern.
He said he failed to proceed because he was lacking electricity to pump water to the farms, especially in Karenge sector. He happened to meet the governor who heard the case and promised to help him overcome the challenge. They fixed an appointment and met at Nyagatare Hotel-Epic Hotel.
They discussed a deal where the former governor requested Karinganire to drill water in his farm of Katabagemu sector of Nyagatare district for an exchange to his advocacy.
Karinganire drilled the water, but it is alleged that he used his own budget, the money that included contributions of farmers who had contracted him to supply water in their farms in other areas. It is alleged that every farmer was supposed to raise Rwf 70,000 to have water in their farm and would also get a mobile phone to use in the automated irrigation.
This specific project in Gasana farm however, amounted to Rwf 48 million, said the prosecution.
After delivering the project, the investor would have reminded Governor Gasana the promise, and the later mobilized the mayors of Rwamagana and Gatsibo to work with the investor and make sure that he is catered for.
He also connected him with Coproriz Ntende, a rice farming cooperative which uses plenty of water in irrigation activities to strike a deal.
It is alleged that in the middle of this saga, Gasana suspected that the information was leaking, and suspended the entire project of the investor. This came after the mayor of Ngoma district raised the case of his farmers who said that they paid their contributions but never got the water from the investor as promised.
The former governor who was allegedly a double-dealer in this matter, would have turned against Karinganire and said he would be pursued. However, to cover up, he would have advised him to dissemble the drilling equipment in his farm and use them in other farms of those who contributed. This intended to calm the situation down.
Gasana’s case was tabled by Karinganire who is in pre-trial detention in a case where he is alleged of deceiving the farmers.
However, in the process of investigation, the prosecution quoted the Rwanda Investigation Bureau and said that the later found some equipment of the drilling, including water pumps that were not disassembled.
From this background, the prosecution suggested that Gasana asked and got illegal favors using his authority.
The prosecution also told the court that there are available images where Karinganire shared the progress of the project to the former governor.
During the preliminary interrogations, it is alleged that Gasana confessed having met Karinganire at Nyagatare hotel, that he drilled the water at no cost.
Gasana who was speaking with confidence in court denied these allegations and said that a person accusing him cannot be trusted because he is in detention.
However, the prosecution asked for 30-day remand for a number of reasons:
“He is a man of influence who can evade the justice or interfere with investigation.”
Gasana however, requested bail because he alleged that since the last seven years, he has a problem of incurable diseases of blood pressure, and diabetes which would deteriorate his life condition if detained.
He further said that as a senior police and military officer who fought for the Rwanda’s liberation “he cannot evade the justice because he was part of a high-end patriotism exercise and time has come to rather reap the fruits of this deed.”
Moreover, the court heard a person who committed to pay the bail for Gasana in a form of a plot of land. The person said that Gasana himself has enough properties that would serve for bail.