172 lawyers were yesterday sworn-in to become members of the Kigali Bar Association. They are part of 350 who had requested to join the association.
The swearing in ceremony held at the Supreme Court was presided over by Justice Johnston Busingye, the President of the High Court.
The association’s council had selected only 175 people, who met the requirements though three were away on official duty.
Those sworn-in include prosecutors, fresh graduates and civil servants. The association currently has 784 members.
Athanase Rutabingwa, the President of the Kigali Bar Association, explained that others did not meet the required qualifications to join the association.
Among things considered is absence of a criminal record, being a professional lawyer and passing relevant exams.
“When you join the bar association, you are not supposed to do any other job. Anyone who will be caught employed somewhere else will be dealt with accordingly, including expelling them,” Rutabingwa noted
“Being a lawyer is an incompatible job. It needs total independence, and we expect all those who were sworn-in today to have resigned where they were working. We have a disciplinary committee which is going to follow them up”.
He appealed to them to fulfill their duties and protect secrets of their clients.
Busingye the new members would boost the justice sector, adding that Rwandans previously lacked enough lawyers.
“You are the answer to the people’s needs,” said Busingye, urging them to be innovative, trustworthy and observe discipline.
“Rwanda is known for being among the least corrupt countries and with various strategies initiated to fight few corruption. It’s your duty to maintain the fight,” said Busingye.
All those sworn-in will first undergo the internship course before engaging in legal practice.