KIMIHURURA - President Paul Kagame Thursday said that the Judiciary was not an isolated organ.
He was presiding over the launch of the 2008 Judicial Year at Parliamentary Buildings, Kimihurura.
"It is instead one of the strongest pillars on which we shall rely on in the realization of Vision 2020 and there is need for compatibility with other institutions," Kagame told hundreds of judicial practitioners who included judges, lawyers and prosecutors.
He said that the full role of the Judiciary would only e attained when there was an absolute respect for people’s rights in the country, adding that it would also encourage foreign investor.
"We shall not tolerate justice that only serves a particular class of people. Justice has to be enjoyed by all Rwandans irrespective of class or a particular group of people," the President said, urging them to duly punish those found guilty to avoid breeding the culture of impunity.
Kagame specifically told judges to always critically analyze the cases they handle before delivering their final verdicts.
"You should bear in mind that there is another important judge who goes through the verdict and the consequences are far-reaching. This judge is none other than the public opinion. Remember these are the people you are serving," he advised.
He encouraged them to always be driven by purpose "and that purpose is none other than driving Rwandans where they aspire to be."
Prosecutor General Martin Ngoga said there should be no incompatibility between the Judiciary and other players in national development.
"The independence the Judiciary enjoys should not be misconceived to be incompatible with the general direction the country is heading," Ngoga said.
He added that the Prosecution has instituted several units dealing with different problems to improve on efficiency in their work.
"We have a unit charged with tracking Genocide fugitives, an economic crimes unit which specifically deals with crimes like corruption and the witness and victims’ protection unit, among others," he said.
Chief Justice Aloysia Cyanzayire said that the judiciary had undergone several changes and embarked on capacity building and infrastructural development such as building new courthouses and information communication technology.
"We have also successfully put in place all necessary facilities for commercial courts to resume and this will be very soon," she said.
She informed the gathering that one of the Mauritian judges hired to administer the Commercial Courts is already in the country adding that more are expected soon, she said.
The Commercial Courts will include a Commercial High Court with four chambers in Nyarugenge, Musanze, Rwamagana and Nyanza districts.
The Chief Justice added that the Judiciary had embarked on professionalism saying that this will be strengthened by the Law Development Centre which will soon be operational in Nyanza District in the Southern Province.
Meanwhile, Kagame blasted Spanish Judge Fernando Andreu Merelles for the recent indictments he issued against senior officers of the Rwanda Defence Forces (RDF).
"You as judges should always take in account the contempt with which these people from rich countries treat us…who are they to preach to us about human rights when they have championed the worst abuses of human rights?" questioned the President.
"You can imagine what they did during slave trade, through colonization, and eventually the Genocide that took place here," wondered Kagame.
He urged jurists to do everything to help develop the country, saying it was the ultimate solution to contempt from the West.