New Times' Editorial

Judiciary should gear up for more corruption casesIt is difficult to open a Rwandan newspaper today without finding a government official implicated in some form of corruption allegation or other; or reports that there are police probes going on into alleged corruption offences.

It is difficult to open a Rwandan newspaper today without finding a government official implicated in some form of corruption allegation or other; or reports that there are police probes going on into alleged corruption offences.

Not that newspaper reports are the prosecutors or even judges to condemn the culprits; but still it is an indication of the times, and the indicators are all blinking red.

The line-up of big wigs being probed for mismanagement or irregular government business dealings is quite impressive: it includes ministers, senior government officials, bank managers, heads of institutions, and many smaller fry.

All these honourable gentlemen and ladies are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

However, the signs are that the smell is there and just hasn’t become pervasive, and this is bad for Rwanda.

The good news and strongly redeeming feature is that the government is not only fighting, but is clearly seen to be fighting the cancerous growth.

The concern of this column today is not only to highlight the corruption cancer in our midst, but to shout it loudly that it is growing fast and needs special remedy to stem its growth.

Whereas the government might have the will to fight it, it is another story getting prepared for it.

All government watchdogs like the Inspector General of Government, the Auditor General’s office, CID and Prosecutor General, need to get prepared for an influx of cases that might tax their resources to the maximum, for it does not look like the determination of government to pulverize corrupt acts by its officials will abate soon.

These offices will therefore need more human and financial resources than they have been doing with in order to cope.

They will also need dedicated and fearless personnel who will not shy away from investigating even top officials and owning up that they are.

More and well read prosecutors and judges are needed to cope not only with the numbers, but also the complexity of cases that they will face, from a determined defence that will be fighting to escape the courts’ wrath.

It is therefore not too early to start strengthening all our judicial watchdogs.
Ends

 

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