Chief Ombudsman, Madeleine Nirere has said that Rwanda is working to reach its greater anti-corruption fight, to ensure that its residents get better services free from this very harmful vice. She made the observations on Friday, December 9, 2022, as Rwanda joined the World to celebrate International Anti-Corruption Day under the theme ‘Promoting Anti-Corruption Values for Sustainable Development’. The celebration of the day at the national level was held in Rwamagana District, Eastern Province, preceded by a public march against corruption attended by different officials and citizens. Nirere said that Rwanda has put in place various measures and strategies, including laws, to prevent and fight corruption. She pointed out that the country wants to raise the anti-corruption rate from 86.56 per cent – according to the Rwanda Governance Scorecard (RGS) of 2016 – to 92.56 per cent by 2024. “Currently, Rwanda is at the 52nd position globally in the fight against corruption with 53 points. We still have a lot to do to reach the goal we desire.” Meanwhile, she said, Rwanda ranks fifth in Africa and first in the East African Community in terms of fighting corruption. Corruption-free service delivery Nirere observed that placing the citizen at the centre of service delivery, and scaling up the use of technology to speed up service delivery, are some of the means to reaching the anti-corruption level the country envisages. She indicated that research released recently by Rwanda Bribery Index (RBI) 2022, launched by Transparency International Rwanda whose findings, showed that the rate of people who requested corruption was at 29 per cent. However, “There is something good that was indicated by the report as of the more than 4,600 people who were asked in the study, 97 per cent said that they got services without means of corruption,” Nirere said. “This is a good rate, which implies that only three per cent used corruption. This is something encouraging that we should build on by looking at areas where there are still loopholes, mainly not disclosing information about corruption cases, and poor service delivery so that we put in more effort to address them,” she said. Soline Nyirahabimana, Minister of State in charge of Constitutional and Legal Affairs at the Ministry of Justice, said that corruption impairs justice, sometimes resulting in whitewashing offenders and incriminating innocent people, and denying people the rights they deserve. “Corruption is the enemy of the country and development. We should join our efforts to combat corruption. The residents, as main partners, should report it in different ways, and there is an approach to ensure the protection of the whistle-blowers. We should tackle corruption, and punish its culprits,” she said. Hamilcar Fidel Tuyisenge, a resident of Kigabiro Sector, Rwamagana District, said corruption can give people who offer it a sense of entitlement where they do illegal activities or get undue benefits, at the expense of others, whose rights are denied instead. “The use of technology where many services are offered can help curb corruption—the service seekers do not physically meet providers,” he said, also endorsing the idea to report corruption in all of its forms as it is destructive to society. A consultative meeting on the measures to prevent and fight corruption in financial services was also held on December 6, with the aim to improve service delivery in financial institutions so that the beneficiary (client) receives better, faster, and more transparent service. Nirere said that financial institutions committed themselves to fight graft through anti-corruption committees and that the Office of the Ombudsman will build those committees’ capacity through training so that they effectively discharge their responsibilities.