Kagame launches Judicial Year as leaders take oath

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A cross section of senior judicial officers observe the National Anthem at the launch of the Judicial Year at parliament on Monday. (Courtesy)

President Paul Kagame on Monday presided over the launch of the Judicial Year 2017/2018 at Parliament, a ceremony that was attended by senior officers from civilian and military courts as well as high ranking government officials and diplomats.

The ceremony was also marked by the swearing-in of the recently appointed cabinet members who did not take part of the previous ceremony.                        

Those that took oath are; Jean Philbert Nsengimana, Minister for ICT, Claver Gatete Minister for Finance and Economic Planning and the former Rwandan Ambassador to Belgium, Olivier Nduhungirehe who is now the state minister in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Regional Cooperation and EAC affairs.

Also sworn-in was the outgoing Prime Minister, Anastase Murekezi who was appointed Chief Ombudsman, and two new members of parliament Jean Damascène Murara and Marie Pélagie Uwamariya Rutijanwa.

The legislators replaced Jean Marie Vianney Gatabazi, who was appointed governor of Northern Province and Edouard Bamporiki the new Chairman of the National Itorero Commission.

In his remarks, President Kagame thanked members of the judiciary for their contribution to building a nation that respects the rule of law and reminded them that Rwandans deserve a fair justice system that they can trust.

“Fighting corruption in our justice system should begin by holding leaders accountable, not just citizens. Justice is not just a symbolic ceremony or procedure. It is about efficient process and delivering a fair outcome. […] In this continuous fight to develop and transform this nation, your role as the judiciary is essential,” said President Kagame.

Chief Justice, Prof. Sam Rugege said that even in the traditional Rwanda, justice delivery was not meant to determine that such a person had won the case, but it was meant to fight impunity in the community and reunite people.

He said that they continue to fight all forms of corruption within the judiciary and espouse transparency in the delivery of justice, saying that this year alone, six judicial officers have been reprimanded for their involvement in corruption.

Rugege also said that during this upcoming judicial year 100 per cent of court cases will be handled electronically as all courts countrywide started operating under Integrated Electronic Case Management System (IECMS).