Gov’t sets up anti-graft body

Senior government officials yesterday announced the creation of a new anti-corruption body to stamp out corruption in the country. The body is composed of all heads of anti-corruption units in the country.
Prosecutor General Martin Ngoga (R) stresses a point at the press conference. With him are the Ombudsman Tito Rutaremara (C) and his deputy Immaculee Mukarurangwa. (Photo J Mbanda).
Prosecutor General Martin Ngoga (R) stresses a point at the press conference. With him are the Ombudsman Tito Rutaremara (C) and his deputy Immaculee Mukarurangwa. (Photo J Mbanda).

Senior government officials yesterday announced the creation of a new anti-corruption body to stamp out corruption in the country. The body is composed of all heads of anti-corruption units in the country.

The body dubbed ‘anti-corruption consultative council’ is composed of the Ombudsman and the Justice and Local Government Ministries. It also includes the two Deputy Ombudsmen, the Prosecutor General, Police and the Deputy Chief Justice.

The Ombudsman, Tito Rutaremara, told journalists shortly after a day-long closed meeting that the national anti- graft body will monitor the proper use of public funds.

Presenting the recommendations of the meeting establishing the body which was held at Prime Holdings in Kimihurura, Rutaremara said that the new organ would operate from his office and will be reporting directly to the Office of the President and Parliament.

“We have agreed to hold a general assembly twice a year that would be attended by different government organs and private sector and non-government organisations,” said Rutaremara.

The general secretariat of the council would be headed by the Deputy Ombudsman in charge of corruption and would be provided with professional staff. The new body also has the legal authority to comment on any international report released about Rwanda on corruption.

“The meeting agreed that the media should be given a prime role in the fight against corruption,” read the document released by the council.

The policies have also been drafted on how the media will be deeply involved in the fight against corruption-working closely with the council.

Rutaremara also said that all research and reports about corruption should be made public.

“The meeting agreed that the Ombudsman’s Office be given authority to execute court orders and impose punitive measures to organs that may not abide by court orders.”

Rutaremara also disclosed that his office would request the President’s office to come up with a decree establishing the body.

On his part, The Prosecutor General Martin Ngoga explained that the new body is mainly in charge of coordinating various efforts as a way of coming up with stringent measures against corrupt people.

“The war against corruption is a community responsibility. To end the vice completely, you need to keep coming up with new strategies,” Ngoga said.

The formation of the anti-corruption consultative council comes months after last year’s National Dialogue which recommended that punitive measures against corrupt officials be put in place. It is at the same forum where the creation of this organ was mooted.

While addressing the 6th National Dialogue Conference last year, President Paul Kagame said corrupt officials should be severely punished so that others can learn from them.

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