The President of Transparency International (TI), Huguette Labelle, has urged religious organisations to be transparent in their financial operations.
Labelle, made the call over the weekend while addressing journalists during a press conference at Transparency-Rwanda offices Kimironko.
“They have to be transparent in how they use their congregations’ finances; it is so terrifying and a state of hopelessness when the religious leaders lose trust from their members,” said Labelle who was in the country until yesterday afternoon.
She however pointed out the need for state agencies to intervene in these churches which she said belong to all people, including senior government officials.
“Church leaders should be accountable to the community mostly in the area of finances and they must behave and live with the highest level of integrity for the common interest,” she urged.
According to Paul Kananura, the Executive Secretary of Transparency-Rwanda, his organisation will try by all means to advocate and investigate the matter, of religious institutions accountability.
“It’s a challenge for both Transparency and the government to unite against all forms of corruption and the culture of impunity in our country if we are to fight poverty and enhance development,” Kananura reiterated.
Rima Al-Azar, the Transparency International Director for the Africa and the Middle East, said that all public and civil organisations should be regulated to guard against forms of corruption in the form of embezzlement or bribes.
During her stay in the country, Huguette Labelle met with several government officials including the Ombudsman, Tito Rutaremara.