Ombudsman to get more powers

The Office of the Ombudsman may finally be granted powers to investigate and prosecute corruption and injustice cases if parliament approves the amendment of a law governing the office.
Ombudsman Tito Rutaremara.
Ombudsman Tito Rutaremara.

The Office of the Ombudsman may finally be granted powers to investigate and prosecute corruption and injustice cases if parliament approves the amendment of a law governing the office.

The Ombudsman, Tito Rutaremara, has for over three years, requested lawmakers to grant him more powers, claiming some people have escaped justice yet his office could prove them guilty.

Speaking to The New Times yesterday, Rutaremara said that cabinet has since approved the amendments of the legislation and involved elements that grant him more powers to deal with corruption and injustice cases.

“The bill will soon be tabled in Parliament although we can’t be sure that it will pass since the parliament is a sovereign organ that can decide to reject or pass it,” he said.

Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Denis Polisi, said that since the Office of the Ombudsman reports directly to the President’s Office, Parliament is currently waiting for the Minister in the President’s office to table the bill for debate.

“The Ombudsman has complained several times and clearly expressed that he needed more powers to execute his job effectively; it upon to the President’s Office to initiate the bill and the Parliament will start debating it,” said Polisi.

The Office of Ombudsman is an independent public institution which was established in 2003 and charged with preventing and fighting injustice, corruption and related offences in public and private institutions.

It is also charged with receiving and examining complaints from individuals and independent associations relating to acts of civil servants, state organs and private institutions and receiving and examining the declared assets of high ranking government officials, senior civil servants and employees involved in public property and finance among other duties.

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