The outcry caused by the latest report of the Ombudsman to Parliament highlights some institutional problems in Rwanda as far as transparency and accountability are concerned.
I fully support the fight against corruption and the strive for proper
accountability and transparence in the management of public funds and the conduct of public affairs.
However, there is a tendency by some to create a hype around issues.
For example, what is the scientific basis of the findings of the Ombudsman?
Are the rankings of most and least corrupt institutions based on facts or perceptions?
Why was there was no inter-institution engagement on the issue?
Much hype is also created by lawmakers. Their regular calls for all discrepancies unearthed by the Auditor General to be referred to the prosecutors office are uncalled for.
Why not first look at the institutional capacities and technical skills of our spending agencies?
Do lawmakers forget that for an offence to be proved beyond reasonable doubt the prosecution must prove the moral intent?
The prosecution has also made sensational announcements on impending pursuits after being urged to do so by Parliament.
What if the prosecution was also to be investigated on the basis of the perceptions contained in the Ombudsman’s report?
We have all the accountability and transparency bodies in place.
What is needed is the promotion of objectivity and professionalism.
We should do away with reports and criminal proceedings based on sentiments or the need to be seen as harsh.
Let use the wonderful laws that we have put in place.