Ombudsman gives leaders 30 days to declare their wealth

KIGALI - The office of Ombudsman has given thirty days to several government leaders to declare their wealth or face prosecution. Almost 445 civil servants are yet to declare their wealth to the office of the Ombudsman, nearly five months after the deadline.

KIGALI - The office of Ombudsman has given thirty days to several government leaders to declare their wealth or face prosecution.

Almost 445 civil servants are yet to declare their wealth to the office of the Ombudsman, nearly five months after the deadline.

The deadline was on June 30 but some leaders have failed to send in their wealth declaration forms despite persistent pleas from the Ombudsman’s office.

A source from Ombudsman yesterday confirmed that many civil servants had been warned through writing since the beginning of this month.

“The office of Ombudsman wrote to several government institutions. The employees have now 20 days to explain why they never complied with the deadline,” the source, who declined to be named, said.

Usually, the Office of Ombudsman gives a one-month ultimatum in which those caught up by the deadline return the forms, which is not the case this time.

The Ombudsman, Tito Rutaremara also confirmed the development yesterday in a telephone interview. “We shall take action after thirty days,” Rutaremara said.

He added, “We have given them thirty days so that they present their side of the story. Those with no convincing answers will be disciplined.”

Government employees are required by the 2006 Wealth Declaration Law to submit their annual declaration of income, assets and liabilities for verification by June 30.
The idea behind the declarations is that officials who accumulate wealth beyond their means should be investigated.

Another source revealed the body had already compiled a list of shame of officials who refused to comply.

Information from the Ombudsman indicates that in the past, some leaders had amassed wealth beyond their earnings. There were also cases of under-declaration.

Any leader who fails to declare his/her wealth without any reasonable cause commits a breach of law and the penalty is huge.

The Leadership Code Act aims at strengthening the fight against corruption through increased accountability and transparency by top leaders in government.

They include the President, ministers, judges, MPs, police, military and prisons officers, heads of departments in central and local governments, district leaders among others.

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