The Chief Ombudsman Aloysia Cyanzayire has said that consequences of corruption are far reaching and called for personal and collective commitment in the fight against the vice.
She said that "eliminating corruption is achievable" if mindsets of people involved are changed at the expense of the community.
The Chief Ombudsman was speaking yesterday in Kigali where she presided over the launch of the ‘Anti-Corruption Week’ which falls under the ongoing ‘Police Week 2017’ to mark the 17th anniversary of Rwanda National Police where she was the chief guest.
“Strategies established to combat corruption can not entirely succeed if we cannot individually and collectively interpret the immense side effects of the vice” she said.
She said that the young generations must be taught the values of integrity in fighting such malpractices combating graft is not a one agency activity but rather a collective undertaking.
Speaking at the same occasion, the Inspector General Police (IGP) Emmanuel K. Gasana thanked all stakeholders involved in eradicating corruption.
“We believe that we can’t succeed without the partnership and active involvement of the people, and records have showed that,” IGP Gasana said.
He called for collective action against corruption adding that the vice is a major contributor to economic retardation and negatively affects sustainable development of the country.
The Police Chief said that the force remains at the forefront to combat the vice and observed that once corruption becomes entrenched, its negative effects multiply.
"Over the last two years police forwarded about 700 cases related to corruption, to prosecution, with 42 among these cases involving police officers," IGP Gasana said.
“Various international reports have ranked Rwanda as one of the countries which have put in place tough measures against graft, which is the basis for the lowest level of corruption globally. Despite this, we well know that there are some people who still indulge in these criminal tendencies, which pose high impact on the well-being of the people, the economy and the development of the country in general,” he said.
The Corruption Perception Index by Transparency International released in January this year, placed Rwanda as third least corrupt country in sub-Saharan Africa after Botswana and Cape Verde, respectively.
The same report also ranked Rwanda 50th least corrupt country globally.
The 2016 Rwanda bribery Index (RBI) by Transparency International-Rwanda (TI-R) also indicate that about 24.4 percent of people either offered or received a bribe.
“Fighting all sorts of corruption is a national policy that we implement as law enforcers in partnership with Rwandans and other institutions to give way for smooth development, social wellbeing of the people service delivery,” IGP Gasana said.
The chairperson of TI-Rwanda, Marie immaculatee Ingabire called for more legal reforms against graft noting that although it is not widespread, it’s real than imaginary.
She went on to highlight the consequences of corruption including mistrust of leadership and scaring foreign investments.
“Corruption inevitably leads to a diminished business climate when public trust is lost” she said.
Present at the same occasion were the mayor of City of Kigali, Pascal Nyamulinda, Prosecutor General John Bosco Mutangana and mayors of Kicukiro, Gasabo and Nyarugenge districts, among others.
Prosecutor General said that so far his office achieved 79% conviction rate of the 187 cases brought before courts.
It was also attended by hundred of students from schools around Kigali, local leaders, youth volunteers in crime prevention, and motorcyclists, among other police partners.
The event was also characterized by open discussions on how effective to combat graft.