No one is above the law- Ombudsman Nirere on ’big fish’

On 4 December 2020 at 05:49

The Ombudsperson, Madeleine Nirere has said that no one should be perceived as a big fish highlighting that Rwanda’s laws are clear and need to be reinforced appropriately.

The ombudsman made the strong observation yesterday after taking over office from the outgoing ombudsman, Anastase Murekezi.

Nirere assured that she will respect guidance from President Paul Kagame who officiated her swearing-in ceremony recently.

As she commented on her projections towards fighting corruption especially among top officials perceived as ‘big fish’, the new ombudsperson explained that it will be driven by an inclusive approach.

“There is no big and small fish before the law. Whoever commits a crime goes below the law and must be held accountable. The laws are clear and the most important thing is applying them appropriately considering that bribery is an imprescriptible crime” she said.

“You cannot accuse someone without evidence. People will have to always explain the source of wealth. If the wealth was obtained through corruption, it will be automatically taken over by the state,” she noted.

The ombudsperson office will continue to encourage citizens to report leaders suspected of corruption as a way of completely eradicating the vice.

“Everyone should play their role to weed out corruption,” said Nirere.

Nirere was appointed by the Cabinet Meeting of 11th November 2020 becoming the fourth ombudsman since the institution was created in 2003.

She recently completed her two four-year terms as the President of National Human Right Commission where she was replaced by Marie Claire Mukasine.

Previous ombudspersons include Anastase Murekezi who held office between 2017 and 2020, Aloysie Cyanzayire (2014 – 2017) and Tito Rutaremara (2004 – 2012).

Nirere took over yesterday from the outgoing ombudsman, Anastase Murekezi.