A week dedicated to the fight against corruption in the Judiciary ended on Saturday with officials and activists alike indicating that graft cases in this critical arm of the State were on a downward trend.
This came against the background of several local and international reports which showed that, while Rwanda remained one of the least corrupt countries in Africa, the country’s judiciary was among the most corrupt institutions.
As custodians of rule of law and constitutionalism, the Judiciary is a very sensitive sector that needs to be jealously protected from corrupt tendencies, whether internally generated or ‘imported’ from outside the sector.
As such, reports from the Judiciary itself and Transparency International-Rwanda that the sector was increasingly registering gains against graft are heartwarming. For it’s only a justice sector that upholds integrity and respect for the law that can serve as a truly dependable force in the fight against corruption and its associated evils.
The world over, corruption is a dangerous vice and can break down governance systems with far-reaching consequences. A corrupt society tramples upon the rights of its own members and destroys the very fabric that holds it together and therefore its future.
While the Government of Rwanda is deservedly credited with keeping corruption in check, this is by no means an excuse to rest on our laurels, naively thinking that the vice had no chance to rear its ugly head, or that, even if it did, it would not reach the disturbing proportions we have seen in some countries.
That would be shooting ourselves in the foot because complacency is the single largest threat to any human progress.
While the general feeling is that the country continues to make gains in the fight against corruption, efforts against the vice must be sustained if the recent achievements are to be consolidated and even further progress registered.