KIMIHURURA - Eighty new lawyers who were admitted yesterday to the Kigali Bar Association have affirmed their determination to increase the population’s access to justice in all provinces of the country.
The advocates who took oath before a panel of High Court judges at the Supreme Court in Kimihurura brought the total number of practicing lawyers in the country to 450.
Clement Nkeza, one of the lawyers said that as Rwanda’s judicial system grows, it needed more professional lawyers to fill huge gap.
“I work with a law firm in Kamonyi, Southern Province and having become a practicing lawyer today, I will be very effective in offering legal services to people who need them in this part of the country,” Nkeza said.
Donatille Gahonzire, another newly sworn-in lawyer cautioned her colleagues about the vice of corruption within the judicial system and emphasized that justice can not prevail unless the custodians of law operate honestly.
“We must work truthfully and this means fighting corruption. This is the only way we shall have an effective judicial system.
I will stand for the rights of all children in prisons and I will ensure that they access fair justice,” Gahonzire affirmed.
The High Court President, Johnston Busingye who presided over the swearing-in of the jurists in a function that took place at the Supreme Court chambers, urged the entrants to ensure that the nation is guided by the law through respecting the Constitution.
He also called advised them to value time when dealing with court cases.
“This profession needs youth like you who will without doubt value the aspect of time so that cases do not pile up. Work with integrity, research your cases, desist from corruption and do what is expected of you,” he advised.
Vincent Karangwa, the president of the Kigali Bar Association also highlighted the need for an increased number of legal practitioners to meet the day-to-day judicial demands of Rwanda’s population.
“We did not have enough lawyers in the provinces yet justice must reach all parts of the country. Now that the figures are growing, we hope to have at least 5 of them in each district.”
“As part of increasing effectiveness, we are also training advocates so that they can compete favorably on the wider East African Community market,” he added.
Another new lawyer, Frank Asiimwe said he was looking forward to contributing significantly to growth of the profession by being part of the new energetic team that seeks to re-brand the justice sector.
“I have personally not seen the proof of any form of corruption within the justice sector. However, we are going to work on changing the image by upholding the oath we took today,” said Asiimwe.
85 lawyers were supposed to take oath but 5 did not turn up due to different reasons.