Of late, many lawyers, some of them senior prosecutors, have been involved in corruption-related cases.Reports are rife that many have abandoned their professional ethics in order to earn a quick buck from their unsuspecting clients.
Some lawyers, according to police have been soliciting bribes from the suspects so that they are handed lighter punishments when the ruling day comes up.
A recent case in Ngoma District where a senior prosecutor was arrested while extorting money from suspects is one of the many incidents.
Days before the Ngoma incident, another senior lawyer in Kigali had been nabbed by police trying to bribe a judge in order to pervert the course of justice.
Yet it is not only money tainting the morality of these learned people in our society. There are reports that some lawyers have broken families. A romantic relationship involving a renowned city lawyer, a female medic and an employee at Soras caused chaos when the two women ended up fighting in the lawyer’s offices.
A lawyer who solicits money from suspects is obviously unlikely to act independently in court. Instead of helping the poor get justice, he or she is likely to side with the rich or oppressors because they are willing to buy justice.
Clients with good cases but unable to pay will obviously lose their cases. The rich will always find their way out of court but the poor will pay the price.
But the fact that it is our judges who alert police to arrest corrupt lawyers tells a big story. It says one thing; that there is still chance to salvage the situation in the judiciary.
We ought to stand tall and fight corrupt-minded people because we cannot fight against corruption without fighting those practicing the vice.