Rwanda Focus (Kigali)

5 December 2012

Rwanda Looks for Excellence in Fight Against Corruption

Prime Minister Pierre Damien Habumuremyi has called upon all Rwandans to play a significant role in fighting corruption as a way of building the country's sustainable development.

According to the Premier, the fight against corruption is one the priorities of the government of Rwanda. "We want to build our country, Rwanda, with no corruption and injustice," he said.

Habumuremyi was addressing Gisagara residents yesterday while launching a week dedicated to fight against corruption.

The Premier said that the country has started strategies that will help to achieve the objective of building a country free of corruption. Among the strategies, he explained, include the Office of the Ombudsman that was recently empowered with prosecution power; the new mandate he said will make easy the process to repress corruption cases.

All the strategies put in place, said the Premier, have brought good results, though he noted that Rwandans still have to do much more in the move.

The Transparency International, in its Corruption Perceptions Index 2012 released on Wednesday, ranked Rwanda the 4th in African countries that have less corruption cases while it is the first one in East African Community (EAC). It was ranked the 50th globally.

"Though this seems good for some people, we are not yet happy. We want to be among the best ones at international level," said Habumuremyi.

For the chief ombudsman, Aloysie Cyanzayire, the day dedicated to fight against corruption should be an opportunity to look at to build on the step achieved for a better future.

The week-long event, which will be closed on December 9, was organized by the Ombudsman Office in collaboration with the African Union Advisory Board on corruption and UN Economic Commission.

Edward Hosea Gomaya, the president of the African Union Advisory Board on corruption, told reporters that recent surveys reveal that more than US$ 149 billion is taken out of Africa because of corruption; one of the serious reasons that are causing poverty on the continent.

"There is a correlation between corruption and poverty. The more countries are corrupt, the more people become poor," Gomaya said, adding that the corruption will continue to topple the leadership if nothing is done to stop it.

"We should not find excuse in Africa for poverty. Leaders of Africa should stop taking a lot of resources to rich countries," he said.

The day was also attended by delegates from Burundi, Egypt, Senegal, Kenya and South Sudan.

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