Two Rwandan utility firms' bosses arrested

Monday September 4 2017

Former Water and Sanitation Corporation (Wasac)

Former Water and Sanitation Corporation (Wasac) chief executive officer James Sano. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

By KABONA ESIARA
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Two heads of Rwandan utility firms have been arrested on allegations of flouting the public procurement law.

Emmanuel Kamanzi, the managing director of the Energy Development Corporation Ltd (EDCL), and James Sano, the chief executive officer at the Water and Sanitation Corporation (Wasac), were taken into custody on Saturday, according to the Rwanda National Police.

Police spokesperson Theos Badege told The EastAfrican that Mr Kamanzi is accused of awarding a tender to a firm to supply 10 transformers worth $45,000 which turned out to be defective.

He is also alleged to have authorised the procurement of electricity poles worth $280,000 without following proper tendering processes.

Mr Sano, who was also fired on Saturday, is alleged to have illegally awarded a single source a tender valued at Rwf61 million ($72,000) to Cerrium Advisory Limited, a private recruitment firm.

Mr Badege added that the former Wasac boss is reported to have also awarded a Rwf371 million ($439,320) tender for construction of a water pumping station without a bill of quantity.

“The law enforcement action is in line with zero tolerance to corruption and public funds embezzlement, which is counterproductive to national development and social welfare,” said Mr Badege.

The police spokesperson said more officials will be arrested once they conclude the investigations.

The arrests come just days after President Paul Kagame warned against embezzlement and misappropriation of public funds saying it would not be tolerated.