New law to protect graft whistle-blowers

KIGALI - A new law that will protect individuals who  expose cases of corruption and injustice is in the pipeline the Ombudsman, Tito Rutaremara, said over the weekend.

KIGALI - A new law that will protect individuals who  expose cases of corruption and injustice is in the pipeline the Ombudsman, Tito Rutaremara, said over the weekend.
“A law to protect whistle-blowers is also in the offing…it is not us (Ombudsman’s office) alone to fight corruption, everyone must come on board; the police and other institutions,” Rutaremara told a BBC program.

During the program, the Ombudsman reiterated the existing political will in the country to fight corruption.

Rutaremara did not give details how this proposed law will protect those who willingly come up with information leading to the arrest of the corrupt.

The Ombudsman also said that another law to confiscate property of individuals convicted for embezzlement was under discussion.

“A law is being prepared such that if one is convicted over embezzlement, on top of serving a prison sentence, their property will be seized to recover the embezzled funds.”

It has been reported that some culprits were deliberating swindling state resources with a strategy of opting to spend a year or two in prison but later return to invest their catch.

Appealing to Rwandans to help expose the corrupt, Rutaremara also lamented limited capacity that leads to poor book keeping, which sometimes places individuals under spotlight even if they did not  intend to steal.

“There are cases of Rwandans who are not well acquainted with issues of accountability. They allocate funds to good use but for example do not keep receipts to prove – these are cases of poor administrative practices.”

“I don’t also deny that there are instances where people hide behind this, and steal public funds.”

During the program, the Ombudsman received requests from the Rwandan public for his office to open up outlets countrywide for the population to access its services.

Transparency International recently recognized Rwanda’s strong commitment to fighting corruption.

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