Districts tasked to design own anti-graft strategies

The government will not tolerate corruption among officials and new mechanisms have been put in place to apprehend culprits, Local Government Minister, James Musoni, has said. 
Minister for Local Government, James Musoni.
Minister for Local Government, James Musoni.

The government will not tolerate corruption among officials and new mechanisms have been put in place to apprehend culprits, Local Government Minister, James Musoni, has said. 

He sounded the warning Thursday after meeting with governors and mayors in Kigali to discuss various issues, including security, corruption and performance contracts. 

“We carried out a survey and we found out that some people are forced to pay for services; we need everybody to get involved in curbing this problem and we shall continue investigating and apprehend all the culprits,” he said.

He said that though the country is ranked the least corrupt in the region, there still remained some corruption tendencies in various public offices where people pay for services.

He also cited tendering processes among areas where corruption was said to be common. Districts leaders were given three weeks to come up with mechanisms to fight corruption in their areas.

Musoni also announced that the government plans to establish a new project, “Rwanda Online”, to enable people access various services online, effective June 2014 as one of the means to minimise corruption. Such services include land titles and marriage certificates issued by local governments.

The East African Bribery Index 2013, last month ranked Rwanda the least corrupt country in the region, but highlighted pockets of corruption in the police, judiciary, Rwanda Revenue Authority and local governments.

“It’s good that the minister has now directed all districts and the City of Kigali to present a time frame for their new strategies to fight corruption. This is a clear manifestation that there is political will to eliminate it,” the deputy Ombudsman, Clement Musangabatware, said.

Security

The meeting recommended the establishment of village security monitoring teams to carry a background check on strangers in villages and routine night patrols to strengthen security in the country.

They agreed that the team that will be composed of security officers will undergo refresher training before commencing their operations.

“We have to be alert consistently; we have designed a new security plan for Kigali city,” Fidele Ndayisaba the Mayor of Kigali City said during the discussions. He added that they were in discussions with church leaders to install metal detectors in places of worship.

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