MANIFESTO REVIEW: Justice (Pillar 2 Part 3)

President Kagame addresses members of the judiciary at the start of the judicial year in October 2016.

Strengthening the fight against corruption and injustice

In the last seven years, the government has stepped up its efforts to sensitize Rwandans on corruption, injustice and nepotism, so that citizens understand their rights, won’t be deprived of them and won’t pay for services that are supposed to be free.

During the anti-corruption week, which takes place in December every year, people are sensitized on the detrimental effects of corruption and encouraged to play an active role in fighting it. Specific groups are sensitized on corruption and injustice through folders, billboards, the media, etc., and toll-free phone numbers are set up to enable citizens to report corruption.

Yet the fight against corruption is not limited to just one week. The National Anti-corruption Policy was elaborated and adopted by the Cabinet in June 2012. The policy contains anti-corruption strategies and identifies the institutions responsible for their implementation (the Rwanda National Police, the National Public Prosecution Agency, civil society organizations, citizens etc.) 

At different levels, structures have been put in place to combat corruption and injustice. Consultative Committees on Corruption at have been established at the sector and cell levels, while a National Advisory Council to Fight against Corruption and Injustice has been created, operating down to the sector level. The structure of the Office of Ombudsman was revised to increase the number of investigators, add prosecutors and judgement review specialists, and a special unit was added to investigate grand and sophisticated corruption.

1484057631training of judges and registrars2
Participants in a training of judges and registrars in Kigali City.

The Anti-Corruption Advisory Council has been created, made up of the Minister of Local Government, two Deputies of the Ombudsman, the Minister of Justice, the Vice-President of the Supreme Court, the Inspector General of Rwanda National Police, the Prosecutor General, the Auditor General of State Finances, the Executive Secretary of Rwanda Public Procurement Authority, representatives of the Civil Society Platform, and the Chief Executive of the Private Sector Federation.

Corruption index

Rwanda is renowned for being one of the least corrupt countries in the world. In Transparency International’s 2015 Corruption Perception Index (CPI), Rwanda emerges as the least corrupt country in East Africa, among Africa’s five least corrupt nations, and 44th globally.

The progress in the fight against corruption was made possible by a strong political will and low impunity for corruption-related offences.

The government maintains a zero-tolerance stance against corruption, with 97.3% of Rwandans expressing confidence in its efforts to fight corruption, according to the 2014 Rwanda Bribery Index by Transparency International’s Rwanda chapter.

Using various platforms, Rwandans have been urged to report corruption cases and the response is positive, with a clear adoption of anti-corruption values among people as well as cooperation in reporting of corruption.

The media have also played their role in sensitizing the public about corruption and reporting on specific cases.

1484057678The Bar Association2

The Bar Association fulfils the role of legal representation and regulation for its members and plays a key role in the Administration of Justice for a strengthened Rule of Law in Rwanda.

Special efforts have been made to sensitize particular groups. Entrepreneurs, for example, have been urged to report any challenges they face during bidding for public tenders.

As for civil society organizations, their role is to sensitize the general public about the problems caused by corruption and the importance of reporting bribery to anti-corruption bodies such as the police, the National Public Prosecution Authority, as well as the Office of the Ombudsman.

In conclusion, the government has put in place mechanisms and institutions that are geared towards a public service characterised by integrity, transparency and accountability. The goal is to support national development aimed at improving the quality of life, creating a strong, competitive economy and efficient public services. 

Protection of human rights

In the same context, the government has also ensured that all Rwandans are educated about their basic human rights, and leaders at all levels have been tasked to make sure that all reported human rights abuses are properly dealt with.

1484057950International Human Rights Day2

Youth celebrate the International Human Rights Day on December 10, 2015.

Various categories of people have been trained with the objective of increasing their knowledge of human rights. This training is conducted by public and private institutions including MINIJUST, MIGEPROF, the National Commission for Human Rights (NCHR), and Haguruka.

As a result, today all reported human rights abuses are dealt with appropriately by the concerned authorities.

In addition, the government has ratified and domesticated international human rights conventions of interest to Rwanda, and submitted all periodic reports in time as required by these conventions.

These include the Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, adopted in The Hague on 25/10/1980 (Presidential Order N° 52/01 of 25/08/2011); additional information (report) in response to issues raised during consideration of the third and fourth periodic report (CRC/C/RWA/3-4) was submitted; the initial report of Rwanda on the protection of right of migrant workers and members of their families was prepared and submitted in September 2012; and the ratification of the Protocol on the convention against torture and the protocol to the covenant on Civil and Political Rights is in process.

  • By Hope Magazine
  • Posted 10th January 2017

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