The National Public Prosecution Authority (NPPA) and Transparency Rwanda (TR), Tuesday, signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU), agreeing to cooperate in the anti-corruption crusade.
Signed at the Prosecutor General’s office, the pact’s terms of reference indicate that the two shall receive complaints from the public regarding service delivery in public and private institutions; process them and channel them to the NPPA and relevant institutions for action.
According to Prosecutor General Martin Ngoga, the NPPA will be expected to provide appropriate feedback and advice to TR on behalf of the public among other things.
“There will be information sharing and accountability. We will give them feedback on all the information they bring to us and this will be a way of ensuring accountability to them as partners and to our people,” Ngoga told reporters.
“Everyone will have their limits and there will be no infringement on others’ rights, statutory or otherwise. TR will continue working as an NGO and, there will be no conspiracy or cover-up.”
TR has started an Advocacy and Legal Advice Centre (ALAC) through which it will implement programmes on corruption prevention and promote transparency in service delivery.
ALAC will focus on creating effective citizen participation, monitoring, reporting and advice seeking mechanisms to fight corruption.
Like Ngoga, Transparency Rwanda chapter’s head Marie Imacculeé Ingabire was satisfied with the accomplishment, after having previously listed similar working arrangements with the Ombudsman’s office and the Police.
“We did this as a test, asked government to work with them, and we are very happy they accepted, and very fast,” Ingabire said, noting that there were corruption related cases in the country, however not similar to those in neighbouring countries.
Ingabire strongly dismissed reporters’ hints that TR would be compromised by government.
“Transparency will never cover-up bad doings by government just because it works with government. That is an old way of thinking. When we see areas not being covered by the Prosecution, we will know it better and faster than before when working with them,” she said.
Adding to this, Ngoga stressed that the problem is not cooperation with government – but how you cooperate – “the substantive manner of working together”.
“We need each other, there is complimentarity here. We have no conspiracy of silence – they (TR) are free to disagree with us and we are free to disagree with them,” he said, stressing that information sharing will be much better than before.
Ngoga said that working with TR will reinforces already existing efforts by government to combat corruption.
“It opens a new channel through which we will fight corruption. It compliments what we are already doing because I believe there are a lot of cases out there which we did not know about.”
Ingabire and her TR team further allayed reporters’ fears, noting that the Rwandan chapter is funded by Transparency International and conforms to the latter’s operational approach and strategy.