Woe unto the corrupt as Ombudsman gets more powers, resources

WHEN THE 2013 Corruption Perception Index report by Transparency International ranked Rwanda among the top 50 least corrupt countries in the world, several commentators argued that policymakers should not rest on their laurels. 

WHEN THE 2013 Corruption Perception Index report by Transparency International ranked Rwanda among the top 50 least corrupt countries in the world, several commentators argued that policymakers should not rest on their laurels. 

Rwandans welcomed the standing but called for more efforts in ensuring that making the country is corruption-free. The citizens understand that corruption means misappropriation of public resources and, therefore, uneven allocation of resources. Where graft thrives, the grassroots wither because they incur the ultimate burden of the vice.  

To invest more in stamping out graft, government has vested more powers, including a prosecutorial aspect, in the Office of the Ombudsman. Along with the law is the green light for the Office to hire technocrats as well as procure the equipment they need to execute their duties.  

The Office has been overstretched as it only has 68 personnel despite its wide scope of jurisdiction. But now that it is set to hire more lawyers, prosecutors, IT experts, bailiffs and financial analysts, among others, there is no doubt that such a capacity building effort will give the Ombudsman the jagged edge teeth to bite.

Such an empowerment bestowed upon the Ombudsman would no doubt have a corresponding effect on national development. There is a correlation between development and graft where the higher the vice, the more struggling the economy.

Those who still solicit or accept kickbacks for service delivery or engage in any form of corruption should know that the will government is showing in fighting the vice is not a bag of popcorn. It is woe unto the corrupt and there will not even be a wall to hold your back when you are pushed beyond fleeing space.

Yet the public should ensure the government will to fight graft is not a one-man-show. It has always been a concerted effort on this footing and so it should be.

 

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