10 February 2011

Rwanda: Whistleblower Law Goes to Parliament

Kigali — The Minister in the Office of the President, Solina Nyirahabimana, on Tuesday tabled before Parliament a bill governing and protecting whistleblowers in the country.

The bill seeks to provide a mechanism under which individuals may, in the public interest, disclose information that relates to unlawful or other illegal conducts or practices.

It also provides protection against victimization of persons, who make these disclosures, but does not suggest any financial benefit for the whistleblower.

"Notwithstanding other laws that provide an award to whistleblowers, in this law, disclosing information shall be done on the basis of nationalism and protection of general interest," reads article 9 of the draft law.

"There are emerging crimes that are hard to monitor and there are crimes that may not be reported. This is why we need whistleblowers to be reporting such malpractices," Nyirahabimana told parliament.

She added that whistleblowers normally give hints or leads on how and where the crime has been or was committed and the investigations are done thereafter.

"Much of the work is done in private without putting the discloser at risk," she said.

Article 12 of the bill reads: "A public institution must establish reasonable procedures of protecting whistleblowers, including their secret reception and the filing of disclosures using a security code".

Following Nyirahabimana's presentation, MPs will have further deliberations in one of the Parliamentary Standing Committees.

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