When the Ombudsman’s 2008 report ranked various institutions in the country on a corruption scale, it was damning for those who it saw corrupt.
Taking it from the feedback it’s received institutions that were tarred as corrupt are not at all pleased with the Ombudsman. In fact, he is not their favourite person right now.
The judiciary was named second most corrupt institution and while the media was the least corrupt.
The interesting bit of this is that these two are institutions that can directly affect the status of the society in either a positive or negative way.
However, High Court President, Johnston Busingye does not agree with the report.
He has the liberty to express his point of view. He insists that any surveys must be ‘scientific’ before they can hold water. Meaning that if Ombudsman report was not based on the general publics’ ‘perceptions’, then the judiciary would be almost saints with corruption levels ‘very close to zero.’
Basing on this, we all need to be reminded that, in any quest for answers, the best people to talk to are those at the bottom of the pyramid.
They are the majority and are most affected by the issues at the top of the pyramid.
Government’s Ombudsman, Tito Rutaremara on the other hand needs to stand his ground and not falter. With much pressure coming from all directions, much stress and second thoughts begin to look like better alternatives.
When Rutaremara amidst all this says that the media is blowing things out of proportion, then, this does not depict him well.
It makes it look like the media has just ‘spiced’ up a merely boring report that should not have been given much thought in the first place.
Journalists need to work in a neutral environment in order to thrive.
This is what allows them to report what they believe will better inform the society. Reporters have the duty to unveil the truth, no matter what institution will be disadvantaged.
I agree with Martin Ngoga, the Prosecutor General when he says that blame games on the media are not a wise path to take.
There is no reason for the judiciary to go on the offensive over a 2008 corruption report.
A lot of improvements I believe have commenced in this institution, otherwise we would never hear about corrupt judges getting locked up
The media too, though almost saintly, has its flaws, that make them so prone to corruption. The ‘Rugari’s Assouman Niyosaba and his cohort’s alleged extortions is a case in point.
Unlike the judiciary the media was the least corrupt. How this is so, probably lies in the fact that, real journalism is not about the money, it is all about the passion to report on society’s issues.
So, as the parliamentary debate goes on about the credibility of Ombudsman report, what steps are Rwandans taking towards achieving ‘zero tolerance to corruption’?
In fact, is this goal even possible? What is the difference between those institutions that have accomplished a lot in the anti-corruption drive and those that haven’t?
Achieving success against corruption lies in the perception of and response to failure.
We cannot change overnight. Efforts may not so great at the beginning but if Rwandans refuse to give up or give in, if as a people we desire to halt corruption then we can.