In a recently released report on the state of corruption among the world countries by Transparency international, Rwanda was ranked among the least corrupt countries, scooping the first position in East Africa and in the Great Lakes Region.
The result of the report wasn’t surprising to the majority of the people living with in the region since it is within the public domain that the government of Rwanda is one of the leading governments that have promoted zero tolerance towards corruption.
Nkurunuungi; a Ugandan who has been living and working in Kigali since 2005 conforms to the report citing several government officials who have been implicated and penalised over corruption cases.
“The time I have been here in Kigali since 2005 I have witnessed several government ministers and top government officials being questioned for cases of corruption; and this has been a characteristic of the Rwandan government that is missing in almost all the neighboring countries” he admitted.
The recent cases of resignation by some of the government officials including the mayors of Gasabo and Nyarugenge; although they claim to have resigned on personal reasons but who according to media reports may have been forced to resign because of their involvement in some dubious arrangements, are a clear manifestation that the pressure this government exerts on corrupt individuals leaves no room for them to be sustained in the leadership of this country.
The fact that Rwanda has been ranked not only the best performer in the region, but also having claimed one of the best positions on the African continent in as far as curbing corruption is concerned, has made majority of Rwandans proud of their government and it evidently manifests the confidence and trust that the neighboring countries as well as the international community have got in this eastern and central African nation in promoting transparency.
As we pride in this ranking, we need to ensure that all tendencies which promote this vice are stamped out.
It is indeed very sad that the recent Ombudsman’s report implicated law enforcers as the most corrupt offices in this country.
The judiciary and the police to be ranked the most corrupt is a discouragement of the highest order to people whose hope and confidence of living in corruption free society is still alive.
Experience has shown most of us that in countries where judiciary and police institutions are involved in corruption cases, it has become very difficult to win the war against the vice.
Therefore, as we sweep our house, emphasis must be put in the corridors of these two institutions.
I am quite sure that Transparency International’s perception index report has come as a sign of relief to those corrupt officials who may wish to hide under the cover of the report thinking that the government or the people of Rwanda are satisfied with the results.
This instead should be an eye opener and work as a catalyst in the work of the Ombudsman so that a greater improvement will be realized the next time transparency international publishes her assessment results.
The author is a regular contibutor to The New Times.