KIGALI - The Minister of justice yesterday appeared in the Senate to convince it to pass an organic law establishing the Committee of Mediators at local levels, The New Times reports.
Karugarama told the Senators that if passed, the law will provide the mediators with more capacity in executing their duties.
“Mediators are not a new project. They have always been there, but right now, the government is looking for ways to boost their capacity. By passing this bill, the national budget will provide a minimum amount to cover their basic needs,” he said
Senator Jose Kagabo, who was one of the Senators who supported the bill, pointed out that it would go a long way towards solving many social issues.
“I am supporting this bill mainly because, finally, it is being given the attention that it deserves. This bill is very important especially to a society like ours,” he said
Karugarama explained to the Senators that the mediators will deal with several issues that mainly focus on rebuilding trust and harmony within the local community.
“There is confusion that mediators will take the investigative role off the police. This committee has its own duties cut out and it does not in any way take responsibility away from any institution,” he said
Karugarama explained that the mediators are volunteers and the service they provide is free
However, in order to create an incentive the Ministry of Justice now pays the cost of mediators’ families’ health insurance (’Mutuelle’). It also supplies one bicycle per Cell to help mediators access all parts of their jurisdictions.