A total of 150 court bailiffs were sworn in yesterday in Kigali.
Presiding over the ceremony, the Minister for Justice, Johnston Busingye, urged the court bailiffs to uphold professional ethics, integrity and rule of law.
“Enforcement and execution of court orders is one of the manifestations of good governance. Citizens will measure good governance accordingly to the rate at which you execute judgments,” he told them.
He urged the group not to disappoint the appointing authority.
“I urge you to value and love your profession. Your integrity will only be manifested in your daily work. You should avoid the temptation to either increase or reduce the amount of damages awarded to the winner of the case,” he added.
He also urged the bailiffs to deliver quality and quick service to beneficiaries and to enforce court judgments without necessarily waiting to be told.
The total number of court bailiffs countrywide stands at 3027, including professionals and non-professionals.
Non-professional bailiffs include local government leaders, from cell to district level.
Busingye said there should be no excuse for not executing court judgements given the number of bailiffs countrywide.
“It’s upon the loser of the case to pay damages to the winner but if it fails then the government intervenes right away. After this swearing in ceremony you have a load of work waiting for you which you have to do with integrity, logic and according to the law,” he said.
He added that the number of court bailiffs has increased compared to the previous years and no enforceable case should go unattended.
Vedaste Habimana, the acting head of the Rwanda Court Bailiff Association, said they are considering to seek a provision in the law regulating court bailiffs to make delays in paying court fines punishable by surcharge of Rwf500,000.
“Usually court bailiffs are the ones to go and execute court orders but we want this to change. The loser should have the responsibility to find the court bailiff to execute judgment. Failure to pay willingly should attract fines. We hope this will ease the work of court bailiffs and expedite justice,” he said.
Anitha Dusabe, one of the 60 females who were sworn in, said she looked forward to doing her work diligently with a sense of impartiality.
“Judgements have to be respected. I will avoid personal sentiments while executing judgements,” she said.
Besides the bailiffs, eight notaries were also sworn in.
The new group brings the number of notaries countrywide to 910.