KIGALI - Information from the Office of the Ombudsman indicates that 99 percent of government workers declared their wealth on time this year.
According to the Ombudsman, out of 4,929 civil servants, only 13 failed to comply with the 2004 law that requires leaders to declare their wealth.
The Leadership Code requires leaders to clarify and explain how they acquired their assets and incurred their liabilities.
“The high turn-up was because of our massive sensitization campaign. We have also taken tougher measures like calling for the suspension of those who fail to comply,” explained Jeanne Mwiseneza, the Director of Wealth Declarations Department, in an interview with The New Times.
Mwiseneza explained that 99 percent was a great achievement because the figures recorded last year assessed those who failed to declare their wealth at more than 300.
Leaders are required by law to submit their annual declaration of income, assets and liabilities by June 30. Any leader who fails to declare his or her wealth without any reasonable cause breaches the law and the penalty is huge.
The Office of the Ombudsman will report to the respective institutions with regard to the 13 employees who have not complied and seek explanations. Should the latter have no convincing reasons, they shall be disciplined.
Early this year, The New Times published a list of senior government officials in various departments who had failed to declare their assets, leading to the decision to suspend them.
“This has worked in our favour because employees now know that if they don’t declare their wealth, they will be suspended without pay or even lose their jobs,” Mwiseneza said.
The idea to submit leaders’ annual declaration of income, assets and liabilities to the Office of the Ombudsman is meant to strengthen the fight against graft through increased accountability and transparency.