Chief Justice commits to eliminate corruption

Rwanda will continue strengthening measures against corruption in the Judiciary despite challenges that make the sector most gullible, Chief Justice Sam Rugege has said.

Rwanda will continue strengthening measures against corruption in the Judiciary despite challenges that make the sector most gullible, Chief Justice Sam Rugege has said.

Prof. Rugege was reacting to the 2013 Transparency International (TI) report that said Rwanda was the least corrupt African country but listed the nation’s Police and the Judiciary as the most corrupt.

The Chief Justice was yesterday speaking at a news briefing in Kigali, where he attributed the Judiciary’s poor ranking to the nature of the sector itself, saying most people who lose cases allege that judges are corrupt.

Admitting that the fight against corruption remains crucial, Prof. Rugege said, “We have to keep watch on some of the judges in our courts.”

“We don’t have 100 per cent way of preventing people from taking bribes; we can only keep trying to curb the vice and what matters is good governance in the fight against corruption. We welcome new ideas in the fight against corruption,” he said.

The CJ’s big dreams

Transparency International put Rwanda’s bribery rate at 13 per cent in the report released last week. The report said Sudan and Tunisia follow as the second with scores of between 15-19.9 per cent.

At the release of the report, the Executive Director of TI-Rwanda, Apollinaire Mupiganyi, said government’s involvement of citizens in the fight against corruption as well as setting up anti-graft institutions such as the Office of the Ombudsman and government’s anti-corruption committees had proved effective.

“The more interaction between the service provider and the client the more temptations to bribery, but there is hope that it will keep decreasing since people still have trust in these institutions, which is very crucial,” Mupiganyi said.

Prof. Rugege said the survey was a good barometer for the judiciary sector even if it was based on perceptions instead of facts.

He announced that the Supreme Court will be conducting annual surveys of its own with the help of independent consultants in order to ascertain peoples’ perceptions of corruption levels in the judiciary.

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