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Incompetent Lawyers Sink Rwanda Government Into Losses  

by Dan Ngabonziza
3:15 pm
Justice Minister Johnston Busingye

Justice Minister Johnston Busingye

The government of Rwanda is losing at least Rwf1 billion every year in court battles due to incompetence of its lawyers.

According to the Justice Minister Johnston Busingye, government has won 67% of cases in the past years and only increased by 7%. He said the gap remains big.

Government has been paying at least Rwf1 billion annually after losing cases to individuals and private firms.

During the 2014/2015 financial year alone, the government was sued 516 times, with 116 cases lost to individuals and firms, leaving government with only 248 cases won. The rest are still pending.

Public institutions regularly sued include; Rwanda Natural Resource Authority (RNRA), the Special Guarantee Fund and Rwanda Broadcasting Agency (RBA).

In a survey conducted by Rwanda public service commission, government lost Rwf900 million between 2009 and 2015, due to unlawful dismissal of employees in different public institutions.

Isabelle Kalihangabo, permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Justice told KT Press that government wants to improve quality of representation in courts.

She said they have embarked on improving capacity and collaboration between its attorneys and statutory agencies.

Fidèle Tuyishime, a legal officer in Huye district in Southern Province acknowledged they have not been performing their duties professionally.

“Between 2006 and 2009, our task was only statutory matters and we were not given time and chance to advise officials on legal matters. But this has significantly changed,” he said.