The former Governor of Eastern Province, Emmanuel Gasana on Friday morning arrived at Nyagatare Primary Court for his arraignment and bail hearing in a case in which he faces charges of abuse of office.
He is also accused of soliciting and accepting illegal benefits.
Gasana, who was suspended as Eastern Province Governor by the Prime Minister on October 25, before his arrest on October 26, faces allegations stemming from an investigation by the Rwanda Investigation Bureau (RIB).
The investigation focused on suspected criminal activities he allegedly committed during his tenure as the Eastern Province Governor, allegedly for personal gain.
According to reports on ground, Gasana arrived at the court premises at 6 a.m aboard a RIB Toyota land cruiser jeep, accompanied by tight security. In the courtroom, no one was allowed to enter with any electronic devices. The audience was predominantly made of journalists and his family members.
According to the prosecution, Gasana committed the alleged crimes during the execution of a project to supply water in the province, which was contracted to Eric Karinganire.
Prosecution alleges that the contractor had during the execution of the project encountered a problem of lack of electricity, which impeded the works, prompting him to seek the help of Gasana in his capacity as the provincial governor.
It is then alleged that Gasana agreed to help him with advocacy to get the electricity and also expand the project to different district in the province but on condition that the contractor drills water in Gasana’s farm, which is located in Katabagemu Sector in Nyagatare.
The contractor then used funds for the project to drill water in the accused’s farm, which the Governor rewarded him with lobbying different mayors in the district to contract Karinganire’s firm.
However, along the way, Gasana halted the project and impounded the contractor’s equipment, prompting the latter to escalate the matter, which led to the latter’s suspension and later arrest.
Gasana has pleaded not guilty of all the charges.
Gasana served as the Eastern Province Governor for two and a half years, having been appointed by President Paul Kagame on March 15, 2021.
Before that, he held the position of Governor of the Southern Province.
He also served as the Inspector General of Rwanda National Police between 2009 and 2018. Before transitioning to the RNP, he was a Brigadier General in the Rwanda Defence Force (RDF) and previously acted as the Chief of Logistics for the army.