Corruption rampant at grassroots – Ombudsman

HUYE – The fight against corruption in high leadership organs has registered great progress, but the vice is still rampant at the lower administrative levels, the Ombudsman, Tito Rutaremara, has said.
Participants in the music and poetry competition from all the districts of the province pose in a group   (Photo; P Ntambara)
Participants in the music and poetry competition from all the districts of the province pose in a group (Photo; P Ntambara)

HUYE – The fight against corruption in high leadership organs has registered great progress, but the vice is still rampant at the lower administrative levels, the Ombudsman, Tito Rutaremara, has said.

Rutaremara was speaking on the sidelines of an anti- corruption music and poetry competition, organised by his office, in the Southern Province, on Tuesday.

The Ombudsman observed that corruption at the higher levels, which mainly involves large sums of money, particularly through public tenders, had gone down.
He said that the challenge still remains in the middle and lower levels where people have to bribe their way to access services which they are otherwise entitled to without any pay.

“They pay very little, but this is dangerous because it gradually develops into a habit and then a culture,” Rutaremara said.

“The challenge we have is to sensitise the population so that they know their rights and are ready to resist corruption. People need to come out and resist corruption, fight for their rights and be whistle blowers,” he added.

In reference to the ongoing music and poetry competition, Rutaremara, said that songs and poems are an important medium to convey anti-corruption messages.

He pointed out that the medium serves as a major mobilising tool on how to fight corruption and other forms of injustices. “Corruption destroys good governance; people should be aware so that they reject and fight it.”

The competition started at district level where the best two – in each of the categories (songs and poems) – moved to the next stage, at the provincial level.

Winners from each of the four provinces and Kigali City will then compete at the national level on December 7.
The competition was also in preparation for the anti-corruption week which started yesterday, and is expected to end on December 9. It will, however, be officially launched in Gisagara District on December 6.

This year’s international anti-corruption campaign is held under the theme; ‘Injustice and Corruption Destroys Governance.’

In Rwanda, the campaign will be marked under the theme: “Injustice and corruption destroys governance, we should stand up, resist it, fight it and be the whistle blowers.”

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