The Minister for Justice, Johnston Busingye, has challenged rights groups to play a key role in crime detection in addition to their advocacy obligations.
The minister was speaking at a stakeholders’ consultative workshop on service delivery for fair justice on Thursday.
The workshop was organised by Rwanda Investigation Bureau (RIB) in partnership with Legal Aid Forum (LAF). It aimed to foster coordinated strategic actions and enhance collaboration among stakeholders to share ideas on how to forge a sustainable path to fair justice.
Busingye said civil society is a critical sector in dispensing justice.
He said that crime prevention is an area that requires utmost vigilance, sustained and coordinated attention of all key players.
“With specific respect to criminal justice, in addition to advocacy for rights of accused, rights to legal representation and fair trial, civil society will need to work seriously in the areas of crime detection, deterrence and prevention because this is where we collectively benefit. The role of civil society, if I may make a suggestion, will need to align to the country’s development agenda and work to achieve it,” Busingye said.
The civic duty and obligation of citizens not to commit crimes, he said, might not be a traditional civil society area but since by nature civil society works for the interest of citizens and this is an area where citizens have overwhelming interest and benefit it should not be difficult to include it in their scope.
“I am optimistic that discussions addressing service delivery challenges will foster cooperation in an effort to prevent, detect, investigate and prosecute crime,” the minister further said.
Col Jeannot Ruhunga, the Secretary General of RIB, said that the body is seeking stronger partnerships with civil society to be able to deliver fair justice to Rwandans.
“We appreciate the involvement of civil society in building capacity of RIB to deliver justice as we are looking to build a reputation of an institution with advanced justice delivery and with a recognised dedication in preventing crimes” he said.
According to Rwanda Governance Scorecard 2018, released on Wednesday, Rwandans expressed confidence and trust in the country’s security agencies.