Our country is well known for its zero tolerance for all forms of corruption, be it in top government circles or the private sector.
However, while the anti-corruption drive has been raging, there are small fish who seem to think they can easily get away – evading the system.
Yet, they have a great potential of not only harming the economy, but reverse the good reputation of being a corruption-free country so far earned.
It is in this vein that the launch over the weekend of the anti-fraud campaign by the Rwanda National Police is timely. They say a stitch in time saves nine.
The fact that the national police have identified cases of fraud as being on a steady increase, and are putting in place measures to deal with the vice - is spot on.
There are countries with a reputation of every service one needs being received by, ‘hook or crook’ with corruption running through the veins of every aspect of life — from the airport, just to get a visa, you most probably well qualify for, one has to bribe an official.
Rwanda has been known for its ‘cleanliness’,— literally and figuratively — meaning that any attempt to bribe a government official is tantamount to handing oneself in jail.
However, there are those small-time fraudsters, who sell fake goods, over-charge for other goods, or simply take peoples’ money and run.
The national programme against these ‘small fish’ or small time crooks must not be one sided, left to the police only to deal with.The public must also be involved as a matter of national obligation.
The public must develop a robust system of whistle blowing, because fraudsters are not aliens from another planet, they are people we know, who reside in our communities, we know them.
Just because they are targeting others, whom they defraud, does not mean we should shield them, next it could be you.
Rwanda is a key player within the East African Community (EAC), ranked as one of the least corrupt members, globally. There is a good reputation, and good practice to be protected here, blow that whistle.