Kagame calls for tougher defilement punishment

On 6 November 2019 at 08:33

President Paul Kagame has called for alternative tougher penalties for increasing crimes undermining the great work efficiently done by the judiciary

Kagame made the notice on Tuesday as he presided over the launch of the judicial year 2019-2020.

The Prosecutor General, Jean Bosco Mutangana revealed that the institution recorded increased cases of defilement in the judicial year 2018-2019.

“In particular, files related to such crimes rose from 2996 from 2017/2018 to 3363 in the previous year 2018/2019. We expended much effort to process these files handling 3350 representing 99%,” he said.

“It also goes with following up of crimes related to threatening a spouse. We received 1601 files last year and processed 1599 of them representing 99%. We won these cases at 93.7%. We continue to expend much effort in collaboration with relevant entities to safeguard Rwandan society,” added Mutangana.

Kagame lauded the progress of the judiciary over the past ten years but emphasized the need to seek alternative remedy for increasing crimes.

“I am not repeating all the cases. These issues have been already mentioned. Divorces are increasing as well as defilement cases. When it comes to defilement, the situation is much worse even though mature people don’t deserve rape. I have heard a lot of issues. There are increased numbers, judiciary’s improved efficiency handling more cases than before but I would like to add the third thing,” he said.

"I can add the third thing when the number increased, and got means to solve court cases fast. I am wondering if adopting tougher punishments won’t help. The judiciary works efficiently but the good performance didn’t solve the matter. We should take steps farther to oppose it. I will leave that to concerned officials to analyze its feasibility,” added Kagame.

Statistics reveal that RIB received 2091 defilement cases in 2016/2017 that rose to 3060 in 2017/2018 and 3512 in 2018/2019.

The number of related suspects was 3417 in 2018/2019, 3001 in 2017/18 and 2092 in 2016/2017.

The prosecution explains that it wins defilement cases at 80%.

So far, 1355 cases were handled since 2016/2017 leading to the sentence of 1109 and acquittal of 246 suspects.

The prosecution also won 1168 of 1480 cases handled in 2017/2018.

The President of Rwanda Bar Association, Julien Kavaruganda explained that the body has a team of 30 lawyers specifically assigned to help children where 2450 were assisted in collaboration with the Ministry of Justice.

Figures from the Ministry of Health indicate that a total of 17,337 teens who gave birth at hospitals in 2017 were under 19. The number rose to 19,832 in 2018 and 15,696 in 2019.

Kagame calls for tougher defilement punishment