Screen public officials before duty

It is disturbing that, in recent years, a growing number of political appointees have either fled the country after being charged with genocide or more so, been sent to jail on similar charges. Most recent, is Senator Stanley Safari’s case approaching its peak, he managed to sneak out of the country to avoid being held accountable for genocide related crimes of which he was found guilty of committing. While it may be too late to undo the damage of the previous cases, tighter measures should be put in place to filter any future political appointees before they take up positions of prestige or power. The vetting process should be as extensive as it can be right at the start before confirmation and commencement of the assigned public duty.

It is disturbing that, in recent years, a growing number of political appointees have either fled the country after being charged with genocide or more so, been sent to jail on similar charges.

Most recent, is Senator Stanley Safari’s case approaching its peak, he managed to sneak out of the country to avoid being held accountable for genocide related crimes of which he was found guilty of committing.

While it may be too late to undo the damage of the previous cases, tighter measures should be put in place to filter any future political appointees before they take up positions of prestige or power.

The vetting process should be as extensive as it can be right at the start before confirmation and commencement of the assigned public duty.

If one’s background is blighted by legal, financial or even substance abuse problems, they should not be trusted with office.

What can be done? One way to attack the problem would be to establish an independent review board to investigate all nominees. This would give us the chance to appoint clean and qualified people.

There is no doubt that building and developing the institutional capacity to meet the challenges Rwanda faces requires appointing the right people to the right positions.

It is vitally important that a clean criminal record be among the key criteria review boards would use to select leaders. If need be, confirmation hearings should take place and be open to the public.

This will not only widen the scope of sources of information on nominees but will also scare away nominees who have unclean backgrounds.

Ends

 

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