Minister Busingye urges prosecutors to be selfless

Justice Minister Johnston Busingye has advised prosecutors to strike a balance between personal obligations and institutional goals in order to achieve good results.
Justice Minister Johnston Busingye (R) chats with Prosecutor General Richard Muhumuza as Prosecutor Secretary General Jean-Damascène Habimana looks on. Sunday Times/John Mbanda
Justice Minister Johnston Busingye (R) chats with Prosecutor General Richard Muhumuza as Prosecutor Secretary General Jean-Damascène Habimana looks on. Sunday Times/John Mbanda

Justice Minister Johnston Busingye has advised prosecutors to strike a balance between personal obligations and institutional goals in order to achieve good results.

Busingye was addressing over 300 prosecutors and their support staff during the general assembly of the National Public Prosecution Authority in Kigali on Friday.

He warned against diverting money meant for public work for personal use.

“One should rather seek support and we would find how to deal with the problem, but it is shameful for one to divert institutional funds for his or her wedding or for a small social event at home,” he said.

The minister also castigated officials who put family interests ahead of their work, adding that some officers lobby to be transferred to Kigali for the sake of being near their families. 

He directed senior prosecutors to be fair in the way they handle junior members of staff. 

“When you handle people differently, they end up looking for you individually for favours. Work transparently, set the same conditions for everybody and help your staff realize their aspirations,” he said.

The Prosecutor General, Richard Muhumuza congratulated prosecutors for a steady increase in the conviction rate from 76.6 per cent to 86.9 per cent.

Other achievements include the virtual elimination of illegal detention that has decreased to 0.14 per cent this year, from 1.24 per cent in 2007.

Between January and June, prosecution received 15,455 cases, and 14,711 were prosecuted and judgment made by courts. However, some prosecutors committed mistakes that include misinterpretation of cases, abandoning cases without justification and filing cases in court without exhaustive investigations.

“We aim at minimizing mistakes; we shall keep helping our prosecutors to file well investigated cases, and we wish to see the rate of crimes reduce drastically,” Muhumuza said.

 

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