Rwanda : Another first in the anti-corruption drive

Yesterday, this paper reported on two developments, that might seem not to have a direct link, yet they border on the one critical issue in this country – fighting graft. Our lead story was on the Ministry of Health officials, being investigated for flouting tender procedures, in the administering of Global Fund resources. We also reported of a new deal struck by the National Public Prosecution Authority (NPPA) and Transparency Rwanda, to join forces in tackling graft.

 

Rwanda’s stance on corruption is well known. What is laudable is that the leadership will not tire, in firstly exposing any acts of corruption by civil servants, and secondly in finding innovative methods to deal with the vice.

We know of countries, on the African continent that have lost all credibility, because of the political leadership’s reluctance to tackle the corrupt amongst themself.

It is evident in other countries, where Global Fund resources have been misappropriated that those responsible, are usually shielded from being held accountable, by the political leadership.

This is where Rwanda differs, the inherent culture against corruption, means the buck stops with the authority in charge in being made accountable – there are no sacred cows.

We have exemplary stories of the senior officials in the Ministry of Health under investigation. Recently, we reported of others in President Paul Kagame’s office, again under investigation for corrupt practices.

The Global Fund authorities must simply be impressed, that unlike other countries, where investigations take place after the fund itself has exposed irregularities – in Rwanda it is authorities who blow the whistle first.

Going further, they say prevention is better than cure. The joint efforts by the NPPA and the TR, must therefore be commended.

There is need to raise awareness among the public on the definition of corruption, and ways to deal with corrupt officials.

This is a two way system in which the public will also provide feedback, which the NPPA has to respond to.
Now, what other model in the fight against corruption, does one need, if not the one in Rwanda today?

Ends

 

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