I would like to react to the article written by Edwin Musoni in The NewTimes of yesterday, where he revealed that the Office of Ombudsman is likely to be granted powers to investigate and prosecute corruption and injustice related cases, if parliament approves the amendment of a law governing the office.
As an independent public institution, charged with preventing and fighting injustice, many Rwandans have faith in ombudsman’s office.
It’s interesting because the office of ombudsman has already done a great job but many times, he complained that his hands were tied and could not pursue some serious cases properly. I was shocked to hear him say that the law does not even allow him to publish the names of civil servants who fail to declare their wealth.
It’s true that some people have ended up in court as a result of the Ombudsman’s investigations but a sizable number has escaped justice.
There are also cases where the Ombudsman makes recommendations after establishing mistakes committed by government officials but are simply ignored.
A case in point is the current standoff between TIG employees and the management. The Ombudsman established that employees were fired maliciously and recommended that they be re-instated. But Everest Bizimana, TIG boss has refused to honor this. With more powers granted to him, the Ombudsman will be able to take action.
I appeal to members of parliament to support the bill and pass it once it is tabled inparliament.