Kagame opens Judicial Year 2021/2022

On 6 September 2021 at 07:00

President Paul Kagame has called for tougher punishments for crimes related to Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) and stressed the need for concerted efforts to protect Rwandans against cyber-attacks.

Kagame made the remarks today as he presided over the launch of the Judicial Year 2021/2022.

The President commended the judicial sector for tapping into the advantage of technology to continue handling court cases during trying times of COVID-19 pandemic.

He explained that the performance of judges reflects their advancing knowledge and prowess which capacitated them to deliver on efficiency.

Despite achieved milestone, more efforts are still needed to fight against crimes in the society.

Kagame has observed that it requires concerted efforts to win the fight.

“Let us talk about cyber-crimes increasing gradually and becoming sophisticated yet there is a way to reduce them. We should concert efforts and tackle these crimes together,” he said.

Kagame highlighted that the Government encourages Rwandans to embrace technology especially using mobile phones in trade and cashless transactions.

He stated that that strict measures are needed to protect unwitting members of the public against scammers.

“It is paramount to tighten measures to protect Rwandans particularly the ones with inadequate digital skills from falling easy preys to scammers and other fraudsters,” he noted.

Sexual Abuse and Gender Based Violence is among other alarming problems in Rwandan community.

Kagame called for tougher punishment to those who rape women and children and impregnate teenage girls.

“We should put all our efforts into fighting these crimes and ensure that they reduce significantly. The perpetrators of these crimes, their accomplices and those that protect them should face tough punishment to the extent that it might discourage anyone with similar intentions,” he said.

The annual report of the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda (NISR) released in 2020 shows that 48 809 women were victims of SGBV between 2016 and 2019.

Figures from the Ministry of Health also indicate that 17 849 teenagers were impregnated in 2016. The number was 17 337 in 2017, 19 832 in 2018 and 15 656 between January and August 2019.

Kagame has urged stakeholders of the justice sector to thoroughly handle court cases in accordance with laws. He also cautioned judges against bribery to promote professionalism and handle cases based on proven evidences.

“People go to courts hoping that the judges will listen to them, make judgments based on the evidence presented, and as provided for by the law. But we hear some in the justice sector still ask for bribes. This is unacceptable and must be stopped,” he said.

Kagame has urged stakeholders of the justice sector to thoroughly handle court cases in accordance with laws.