New report calls for stringent measures to curb corruption

By Elias Hakizimana.

The Rwanda Bribery Index 2018 revealed that corruption cases remain a great challenge mainly in some entities such as the private sector, traffic police, the Rwanda Energy Group (REG) and the judiciary sector.

This report that was officially launched on Wednesday December 12, 2018 showed that the likelihood of a bribe dropped from 4.5 per cent last year to 3.24 per cent.

Only in traffic police, bribery figures in 2016 was at 9.6 per cent and increased to 11.67 per cent last year, and to 15.14 per cent in 2018.

Three years respectively from 2016 until 2018, in REG, bribery increased from 2.2 per cent, to 9.19 per cent and now at 12.93 per cent.

Nearly Rwf 8bn is lost in bribes annually

The overall average size of bribe was calculated at Rwf43,743 in 2016, Rwf36,173 in 2017, and Rwf58,065 in 2018 according to Albert Rwego Kavatiri, the programme manager of Transparency International (TI-Rwanda).

He noted that the Rwf8billion that is equivalent to the district’s budget is a lot of money that is lost and it hampers the country’s economy. 

Albert Rwego Kavatiri, the programme manager of Transparency International (TI-Rwanda) presenting the findings of the report. (Photos by Elias Hakizimana).

Local governments were reported to take the largest portion in share among the institutions with high rate of bribery, with 30.9 per cent, traffic police the second with 29.69 per cent, followed by the judiciary at 16.23 per cent.

Corruption was assessed as a pre-requisite in the entities mentioned above where the private sector comes the first with 10 percent followed by Civil society with 6% and finally REG with 4 percent.

Jean Nepo Mbonyumuvunyi, Assistant Commissioner of Police said that Rwanda National police is doing a lot to curb the trends in corruption. He said one of the measures includes the digitization of the systems of service delivery, most especially in traffic police while testing for driving licenses.

He noted that the CCTV cameras that are installed along roads help to limit bribery of traffic police officers.

Clement Musangabatware, the Deputy Chief Ombudsman in charge of corruption fight said that no person is superior to the laws and that anyone reported for bribery cases are taken to justice sector for examination.

“Last year we received 53 corruption cases and other entities that have to fight corruption receive cases of such an issue. We have partnership with other institutions like Transparency International Rwanda (TI-RWANDA Chapter) to exchange information on graft.”  Musangabatware said.

Marie Immaculee Ingabire, the chairperson of TI-Rwanda said there is no change comparing to the last year report because the mentioned institutions including police, private sector and judiciary are coming back with high rates.

She recommends Rwanda Development Board (RDB) to follow on the private sector’s activities and establish tangible measures that prevent corruption because it undermines the doing business.

Dr Alvera Mukabaramba, the State Minister for Social Affairs appreciated the findings, which she said are helpful to help the Government advance the measures in fighting corruption.

She said that the protection of those who provide information on corruption cases has been enhanced in the new law enacted in 2017 relating to the protection of whistle-blowers, which is a milestone in fighting corruption.

“e-services are encouraged in all stances; many public institutions are now providing the services online. These initiatives are fruits of tireless efforts of the Rwanda Government to prevent and combat corruption in Rwanda. The Rwanda bribery index report is an opportunity to reflect on our successes and failures in the fight against corruption in our institutions, it is an opportunity for us to rethink about new strategies as highlighted by the findings,” Mukabaramba noted.

Although the corruption rates increased, only 18% reported the cases. Retired people were mentioned by the report to be among the ones who are more likely to experience bribery when it comes to their pension fees request.

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Elias Hakizimana

Elias Hakizimana, CEO&Founder of The Inspirer Ltd,(www.rwandainspirer.com) is a professional Rwandan Journalist with Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Communication, received from University of Rwanda’s College of Arts and Social Sciences (CASS) in 2014. He served various media houses in Rwanda including Rwanda Broadcasting Agency (RBA) in 2013 and became passionate with English Online and Print Media Publications where he exercised his talent as a Freelance News Reporter for The New Times, The Independent, The Rwanda Focus, Panorama and more before he became a Self-Entrepreneur as the CEO and Founder of The Inspirer Limited in early 2017.

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