At least 179 Government officials have been convicted on corruption related charges since 2005, The New Times has learnt. Documents available from the Ombudsman’s office indicate that the officials were convicted after thorough investigations.
About 149 officials were sentenced to between one and five years. The documents also indicate that about 152 corruption related cases were sent to police for further scrutiny.
Yousuf Nsengiyumva, the Director of Anti-corruption unit in the Office of the Ombudsman, confirmed the development when contacted last week. He explained that those in jail were convicted after trial.
Asked whether corruption is declining, Nsengiyumva replied: “We cannot say whether corruption is increasing or decreasing. This is another thing that needs its own survey to ascertain the exact level.” He added that some suspects had completed their sentences while others are still in prison.
Nsengiyumva also alluded to the fact that the office of Ombudsman was considering publishing the names of corrupt officials in local papers. The idea here is to shame them and serve as a warning to others against mismanaging public funds.
The documents also indicate that corruption in Gacaca is rampant, constituting about 50 percent. Some members of police, especially those from traffic section are also tainted.
The police stand at 60 percent, according to documents seen by The New Times. The Judiciary also features prominently; it registered 49.6 percent in what the Ombudsman termed as a mini survey.
According to Nsengiyumva, cases of corruption are attributed to lack of honesty and morality.
In a recent government retreat, transparency was among the key issues discussed, outlining the next steps in the drive to root out corruption, and ensure accountability at every level.
At this meeting, the Auditor General highlighted weaknesses in financial management in public institutions, with a lot of irregularities related to unsupported expenditure and non-compliance with the prescribed guidelines on management of public assets.