Stakeholders from the Justice sector in Rwanda met yesterday at Rwanda National Police (RNP) General Headquarters in Kacyiru to devise effective joint efforts to prevent and eliminate all sorts of graft, and bring offenders to justice.
During the one day consultative meeting to mark the day against corruption in Rwanda, various experts in the justice sector observed that the changing nature of corruption and tendencies of negative solidarity need “collective action and positive solidarity” to counter graft.
They called for a permanent and sustained inter-agency collaboration throughout the entire process of adjudication to improve the levels of conviction and prevent new cases of corruption occurring.
The meeting brought together the justice sector and civil society institutions that are involved in fighting corruption.
They include RNP, prosecution, Ombudsman Office, Rwanda Correctional Service (RCS), Rwanda Governance Board (RGB), public procurement authority, Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA) and Transparency International (TI-Rwanda), among others.
The State Minister in charge of Constitution and Legal Affairs, Evode Uwizeyimana, while speaking at the opening of the meeting, observed that though much has been registered in the direction of fighting corruption, more needs to be done in order to eradicate the vice.
“While headways have been made enormous challenges still remain; your collective action and individual role is pivotal in eradicating corruption” said the State Minister.
He urged all stakeholders to work in unison to close all potential loopholes criminals use in committing the crime.
He said the progress already made, and ongoing efforts to fight corruption in the interest of ending impunity, ensuring accountability and transparency, and restoring integrity to the management of public services and finances, must be enhanced.
He called for inter-agency and the general public to forge strong partnership to utilize the existing legal framework and good political will of zero tolerance to work in synergy to eliminate all forms of corruption.
The Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIGP) in charge of Operations, Dan Munyuza, lauded the contribution of agencies whose responsibilities involve preventing and eliminating corruption.
He reiterated the commitment of RNP in enforcing the law through improve and scientific investigations to facilitate prosecution and effective adjudication of cases.
The DIGP noted that the force established economic and financial crimes unit under the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) as well as the Inspectorate of Services and Ethics to investigate cases of embezzlement and to keep the officers in check in particular, as one of the strategies to fight graft, including automatic dismissal of every officer implicated in corruption related cases.
Prosecutor General, Jean Bosco Mutangana noted that progress – notwithstanding the many legal and policy reforms that have been undertaken – corruption remains a substantial obstacle to development and delivery of essential public services.
He said that over Rwf3 bilion have been so far recovered through convicted court cases related to corruption in the last three years.
On her part, Angeline Rutazana, from the inspectorate of courts said that the judiciary has established a comprehensive case management system which has enormously reduced personal contact between the judicial officer and the public, thereby minimizing chances of bribery.
While closing the meeting, Chief Ombudsman Anastase Murekezi noted that increased cooperation and collaboration between institutions and the public will facilitate information flow, evidence collection and prosecution of offenders.
The Express News