Ombudsman petitions PM as officials conceal wealth

KIGALI - The Office of the Ombudsman has written to Prime Minister Bernard Makuza requesting that punitive measures be taken against113 government employees who under-declared, or failed to declare their wealth, The New Times has learnt.
L-R : ENOUGH IS ENOUGH:Ombudsman Tito Rutaremara;PETITIONED:Bernard Makuza
L-R : ENOUGH IS ENOUGH:Ombudsman Tito Rutaremara;PETITIONED:Bernard Makuza

KIGALI - The Office of the Ombudsman has written to Prime Minister Bernard Makuza requesting that punitive measures be taken against113 government employees who under-declared, or failed to declare their wealth, The New Times has learnt.

Sources at the Ombudsman’s office revealed that several civil servants are yet to declare their wealth, six months after the deadline. Some who complied with the directive did not completely declare what they owned.

The long list of those who under declared their assets has 16 government officials from different ministries, who, according to the Ombudsman, failed to justify how they accumulated their wealth.

However, The New Times could not readily get hold of the names and their respective ministries.

When contacted Wednesday, Jeanne Mwisaneza, the Director of the Wealth Declarations Unit at the Ombudsman’s office confirmed the development.

“We wrote to the Prime Minister on Monday this week. He’s yet to write back to us,” Mwisaneza said.

Government parastatals top the list with a total of 37 employees who declared wealth that investigators later found to be a fraction of what they own. 

The list also includes 11workers in the office of the Prosecutor and High Court while public universities have six in total.

The Ombudsman found eight diplomats in foreign missions, two employees in the Senate and 33 officials in provinces and districts not having obeyed the order.

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.
Those who accumulate wealth beyond their means should be investigated to establish their source of wealth. 

The Leadership Code Act was established to fight against corruption through increased accountability and transparency by top leaders in government.

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

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