TI-Rw in partnership with AfRO and OSIEA launched the effectiveness of Anti-Corruption Commissions in Eastern Africa: Rwanda report

 Kigali, 16th June 2017,“ Rwanda’s performance in international corruption reports proves that the Ombudsman’s office has been effective however, improvements need to be made in human resource, and budget support, among others” said by Immaculee Ingabire, the chairperson of Transparency International Rwanda during the launch of the effectiveness of anti-corruption commissions in Eastern Africa- Rwanda Report.

The study was conducted by Transparency International in partnership with Open Society Foundation’s Africa Regional Office (AfRO) and Open Society Initiative for Eastern Africa (OSIEA).

According to the study, the Penal Code defines corruption but does not classify embezzlement and mismanagement of public funds as crimes punishable by the anti-corruption legislation.

Aloysie Cyanzayire, the ombudsman, said during the event that a review of the Penal Code, which is underway, is expected to address that problem.

The study also showed that the budget allocated to the Ombudsman has declined while the Office’s tasks and responsibilities have increased. It was suggested that the Ombudsman’s budget be increased to correlate with the additional tasks.

Johnson Jeggan Grey, the head of anti-corruption cluster in Open Society Foundations Africa Regional Office, said Rwanda is among the least corrupt countries because of the powers and the mandate of the Ombudsman as well as political will that other countries can learn from.

It was also recommended that grand corruption cases should be given priority and to make effort to improve the effectiveness of the verification of asset declaration and to strengthen its capacity as far as investigation and prosecution of corruption cases are concerned.

“This assessment and other studies are in the logic of complementarity and collaboration and the findings will contribute to the improvement of our strategy. The structure of the Office of the Ombudsman is being revised to fill gaps in the departments and this will go hand in hand with capacity building,” The Ombudsman added

Daniel Batidam, chairperson of the African Union Advisory Board on corruption, said despite improvements over the years, a lot needs to be done to check corruption on the continent.

“Rwanda leads the way in the prevention of corruption which was made possible by political will at the highest level. Corruption is a scourge on this continent where billions of dollars are lost annually which demonstrates the need for commitment and resources to fight corruption,” he added.

The study is part of series of assessments undertaken in 20 African countries, clustered and compiled in three regions: The East African Community, Economic States of West Africa, and the Southern African Development Community. The studies aim to benchmark the effectiveness of anti-corruption commission through a systematic audit of state compliance with normative framework as well as with continental and regional standards.

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