The Office of the Ombudsman has called on the current Rwandan generation to be heroes of this generation by providing lead information on cases of corruption in their communities.
The Deputy Ombudsman, Abbas Mukama said that Rwanda has put in many measures to fight corruption but the current status quo of zero tolerance to corruption can be improved if Rwandans take courage to become whistle blowers.
“Providing information on cases of corruption is one way for a Rwandan to prove their heroism and this is a generational value that can prove one’s patriotism towards rebuilding this nation,” Mukama said in a call that also came in the context of the National Heroes celebrated every February 1st.
The Deputy Ombudsman was reacting to the 2022 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) global report which was released January 31, 2023 and reviewed in Kigali by Transparency International Rwanda (TI-Rwanda) and its key partners.
The CPI2022 report shows that Rwanda came in 54th [position out of 180 countries evaluated, sliding back two positions from the 52nd in the previous report.
Rwanda also scored 51% in the 2022 report from 56% in the previous two years reported.
Why Rwanda Missed Out 49%?
Even when Rwanda maintained a good lead in the African Union region coming in the 4th position after Seychelles, Botswana and Cape Verde, this left people wondering what went wrong for Rwanda to miss out the remaining 49%.
Ingabire Marie Immaculée, the Chairperson of TI-Rwanda stated that the 49% was lost in poor services, citizens who still give bribes, local leaders who don’t perform duties in delivery of services at decentralized levels, the security organs that are under performing especially Community security guards (Irondo) who take bribes and rob citizens which is not right for a system to be broken instead of being up to the game.
“So far we don’t complain because the information we gave is what we have though we have issues in traffic police and prosecution and the irondo guards; however, we will emprove,” Ingabire said.
Apollinaire Mupiganyi, the TI-Rwanda Executive Director said that research shows 7% of Rwandans have a problem of acceptance, acceptability- where they don’t get bothered to report corruption cases but also lack patriotic thinking towards the issues and taking action.
The Chairman of the African Parliamentarians Network Against Corruption (APANAC), Senator François Habiyakare said the decline in Rwanda’s performance (from 56 to 53 and now 51%) is not good and there is need to know how to address some underlying factors that make citizens not provide information on corruption and work with donors to set up a project which can address these concerns.
Deputy Ombudsman Mukama said that the new strategies to address this are: to oblige all institutions (except diplomatic missions) to set up an anti-corruption committee, all schools to set up anti-corruption clubs and integrate lessons into the current education curriculum.
Mukama also said that Rwanda will conduct study tours in best performing CPI evaluated countries such as Cape Verde and Botswana to pick up lessons on their strategies enabling them to top the CPI ranking.
The CPI 2022 shows a dire situation in Sub-Saharan Africa. Most countries have failed to make progress against corruption, with levels stagnating and 90 per cent of countries in the region scoring below 50.