The Democratic Green party of Rwanda (DGPR) has said the existing political will of zero tolerance to corruption is a sign of a bright future.
Green Party President and representative in parliament MP Dr. Frank Habineza made the remarks yesterday while appearing on a radio talk show face to face with Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) senior cadre Sheikh Abdul-Karim Harerimana to discuss the ‘26 year liberation journey in Rwanda’.
Both Habineza and Harerimana agreed that there are issues of corruption and nepotism which need to be addressed fully in order for Rwandans to attain the next level of liberation after the end of the liberation struggle in 1994.
Sighting some examples of local leaders who have appeared before court or before the parliament accounts committee for embezzlement or mismanagement of funds, Habineza said that Rwanda needs to work as a block to end this trend.
“We are lucky we have a political will that is led by President Paul Kagame, we should therefore use the opportunity to stand as one to say no to corruption because we all have the same goal of attaining full liberation,” Habineza said.
Backing this idea, Sheikh Harerimana who was also part of the 4-year liberation struggle that started in 1990-1994 ending oppression of citizens and the genocide against Tutsi, said that there is need to reverse the trend in many ways.
He suggested that the first thing is not to give space to nepotism; it is rather to train the young Rwandans to be agents of change and also use the law appropriately in a process that will take time.
“There are many signs of hope that young Rwandans have a good will to change this situation. That is why we invite them to the RPF meetings to take good lessons from those who are doing a good job in working for this country,” Harerimana said.
Journalists who were hosting the show asked the two officials to explain why cases of corruption keep floating around yet there are laws that are supposed to punish such cases.
The Office of Auditor General’s (OAG) report showed that close to Rwf260 billion was mismanaged in 2015/16, and in the last five years, 999 government officials have been prosecuted, 270 convicted for Rwf4.2 billion and over Rwf3.8 billion recovered with 625 of the accused voluntarily returning Rwf999.8 million (plus $9,100 and €3,225).
“You cannot say that you love the country by stealing from its wealth. This could actually have a negative impact on the mindset of the young who we should train to do a good job,” said Alain Jean Baptiste Nisingizwe, a radio journalist.
MP Habineza said that the parliament is doing its job to highlight cases of corruption which damage the state of finances and progress but the local media should do a substantial follow up on these issues to bring such cases to light.
Sheikh Harerimana said that the liberation war still continues but the real change in the current situation will be achieved if Rwandans continue speaking out about these cases of corruption.