Stakeholders from the Justice sector met yesterday at Rwanda National Police (RNP) General Headquarters in Kacyiru to devise effective multi-sectoral strategies to prevent and eliminate all forms of graft, and bring offenders to book.
During the one day consultative meeting that also served to mark the day against corruption in Rwanda, various experts in the justice sector observed that the changing nature of corruption and tendencies of negative solidarity need “collective action and positive solidarity” to counter graft.
They called for a permanent and sustained inter-agency collaboration throughout the entire process of adjudication to improve the levels of conviction and prevent new cases of corruption.
The meeting brought together participants in the justice sector and civil society institutions that are involved in fighting corruption.
They include RNP, prosecution, Ombudsman’s Office, Rwanda Correctional Service (RCS), Rwanda Governance Board (RGB), Public Procurement Authority, Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA) and Transparency International (TI-Rwanda), among others.
The State Minister in charge of Constitutional and Legal Affairs, Evode Uwizeyimana, observed that though a lot has been done in fighting corruption, more needs to be done in order to eradicate the vice.
“While headways have been made, enormous challenges still remain; your collective action and individual role is pivotal in eradicating corruption,” said the state minister.
He urged all stakeholders to work in unison to close all potential loopholes that criminals use in committing the crime.
The minister called for collaboration between the institutions in the fight against corruption and the general public in this effort.
The Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIGP) in charge of Operations, Dan Munyuza, lauded the contribution of agencies whose mandate involve preventing and eliminating corruption.
He reiterated the commitment of RNP in enforcing the law through improved and scientific investigations to facilitate prosecution and effective adjudication of cases.
The DIGP noted that the force established economic and financial crimes unit under the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) as well as the Inspectorate of Services and Ethics to investigate cases of embezzlement and to keep the officers in check in particular, as one of the strategies to fight graft including automatic dismissal of every officer implicated in corruption related cases.
Prosecutor General Jean-Bosco Mutangana noted that corruption constitutes a substantial obstacle to development and delivery of essential public services.
He said that over Rwf3 billion has so far been recovered through court cases in the last three years.
On her part, Angeline Rutazana, from the Inspectorate of Courts, said that the judiciary has established a comprehensive case management system which has enormously reduced personal contact between the judicial officer and the public, thereby minimising chances of bribery.
While closing the meeting, chief Ombudsman Anastase Murekezi noted that increased cooperation and collaboration between institutions and the public will facilitate information flow, evidence collection and prosecution of offenders.