Two officials from the Office of Public Officers Declarations of Malawi, on November 9, visited Rwanda National Police (RNP) as part of their working visit to learn from Rwanda’s success in combating corruption.
Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Jean Nepo Mbonyumuvunyi, commissioner for Inspectorate of Services and Ethics, who received the officials alongside ACP Celestin Twahirwa, commissioner for community policing, detailed to them on the “RNP role and strategy in preventing and fighting fraud and corruption.”
“Corruption is viewed as an enemy of the rule of law and a major obstacle to protection and promotion of human rights and development as it destroys the proper functioning of both public and private institutions and that’s why fighting it is part of the political agenda backed by strong public support,” ACP Mbonyumuvunyi said.
Graft, he said, manifests in various forms including bribery in form of money, moral, gifts, sexual and gratuities among others. This, he said, can lead to lack of public trust and confidence and undermines operational effectiveness of security services.
RNP on corruption
As part of the RNP to implement legal tools and policies, he explained, the force established an anti-corruption unit and run campaigns in partnership with other public and private players in the anti-corruption sector.
“Any police officer caught in such malpractices is penalized accordingly including dismissal from the force, because there is zero tolerance to whoever is implicated in graft regardless of the rank or seniority.”
Public support through community policing, establishment of communication channels like toll-free lines – 997 for anti-corruption and 3511 to report police officers – twitter, facebook, online crime reporting, he said, have supported the police efforts in responding to the vice through information sharing.
According to ACP Twahirwa, the use of IT in policing has limited individual contact with police officers like in registration and processing of driver’s license while the created disciplinary unit within the force, internal audits and ethical trainings and standards keep police officers in check.
Christopher Tukura, the director of Public Officers Declarations in Malawi, said that as a new agency which has been in existence for two years, they saw Rwanda as one of their best learning countries to “add value to the anti-corruption fight in Malawi” as they plan to roll-out most of their operations.
“During one of our interactions with the World Bank and EU and our online search, we discovered that Rwanda has made tremendous progress in the fight against corruption. International agencies have ranked Rwanda’s fight against corruption very highly,” Tukura said.
“We came here as a fellow country and Africans to see how better you are doing and to learn from you. We visited the Office of Ombudsman and they informed us that this fight can’t be won by one institution. So, our coming here at Rwanda Police was to learn the progress you have made as the police force in the fight against corruption.”
“We are impressed by the collaboration by various institutions in the anti-corruption sector to progressively deliver results, but also internal measures within police to deal with corrupt officers.”
RNP also signed a partnership agreement with the Office of Ombudsman, Transparency International (TI-Rwanda), all districts and the Rwanda Youth Volunteers in Community Policing (RYVCP), partly to join efforts against corruption.