Police warns against bribery

On 9 November 2023 at 07:43

Rwanda National Police (RNP) has warned against criminal acts of bribery, which undermine service delivery and good governance.

The RNP spokesperson, Commissioner of Police (ACP) Boniface Rutikanga said that tendencies of bribery are sometimes reported in traffic related services and warned of severe measures to hold accountable anyone that will be caught in such criminal acts.

He sighted motorists, who attempt to bribe Police officers to prevent being penalised for road traffic violations as well as some Police officers, who are sometimes arrested soliciting bribes.

"Fighting corruption and related vices is given due attention... it’s a zero-tolerance policy. This goes both ways, to the person offering a bribe and a Police officer receiving it," ACP Rutikanga said.

He observed that offering or soliciting a bribe to prevent any penalties for committed traffic offences, to acquire a driver’s license even when one failed the test, and for the unroadworthy vehicle to be given a roadworthy certificate; it puts the safety of people on the road in great danger, which is unacceptable.

"This is a high impact crime, which goes a long way to affect service delivery, national and institutional values and image. It becomes even worse when such insecurity is caused bya Police officer, who is charged with ensuring the safety of the people on the road," ACP Rutikanga said.

The 2023 Rwanda Governance Scorecard, 10th edition by Rwanda Governance Board (RGB), shows that 94.23 percent of Rwandans are confident and rely on Police services.

ACP Rutikanga urged the public to avoid such criminal behaviours and to report anyone that attempts to offer or solicit a bribe, to build a culture where "integrity is valued and corruption rejected."

"Fighting corruption and poor service delivery is an individual and collective responsibility. Call 997 (toll-free) or any known Police communication channels, to report a Police officer, who solicits a bribe and the person offering it," the spokesperson said.

According to article 4 of the Law on Fighting Against Corruption, any person, who offers, solicits, accepts or receives, by any means, an illegal benefit for himself/herself or another person in order to render or omit a service under his or her mandate, commits an offense

Upon conviction, the offender is liable to imprisonment for a term of more than five years but not more than seven years, with a fine of three to five times the value of the illegal benefit solicited or received.

ACP Rutikanga said that the RNP established the Inspectorate of Services and Ethics, and the Police Disciplinary Unit to fight corruption and enforce force discipline.

He reiterated the RNP’s commitment to E-policing to digitalize its services to further ensure efficiency service delivery.

Currently, most road traffic related services are processed online, including booking for vehicle mechanical inspection, registering for driving test, paying for a driver’s license and traffic fines, among others.