The New Times (Kigali)

Rwanda: Institutions in Coalition to Eliminate Corruption

A coalition bringing together various institutions has been formed to intensify the fight against corruption, especially in public procurement.

The institutions include the Rwanda Association of Local Government Authorities (Ralga), Private Sector Federation (PSF), Rwanda Public Procurement Authority (RPPA) and Rwanda Governance Board (RGB).

Others are Transparency International Rwanda, Rwanda Bureau of Standards (RBS), Institute of Engineers, Office of the Ombudsman, Rwanda Civil Society Platform (RCSP), and the National Public Prosecution Authority (NPPA).

Speaking during the signing of the memorandum of understanding, Ombudsman Aloysie Cyanzayire said despite government efforts to fight corruption, there is still need to bring other parties on board to work toward a common goal.

"Given the areas of interventions by the members of the coalition, I am sure that this initiative will effectively contribute to the fight against corruption, especially because it brings together key players in the private sector," she said.

Cyanzayire said fighting corruption should not be left to the government but that it must be a collective responsibility given its negative impact not only to national development, but also on common folks at the grassroots.

She said graft hinders economic development and denies citizens the chance to benefit from opportunities created by government, which plunges them into poverty.

Coalition mandate

Members of the coalition will have the responsibility of sharing relevant information concerning corruption cases, according to the memorandum of understanding.

The coalition aims at establishing the partnership between the partner institutions with the purpose of ensuring that public tenders are issued and executed through a transparent, participatory approach and with accountability in the planning, bidding, awarding, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the contracts tendered for.

Marie Immaculée Ingabire, the chairperson of Transparency International Rwanda, commended the initiative, saying it promotes and encourages other stakeholders in development to address the issues of corruption.

"It is our obligation to detect and report cases of corruption in order to ensure zero tolerance for graft in every sector," she said.

In October, Transparency International released the East African Bribery Index 2013, which indicated that despite Rwanda being the least corrupt country in the region, its index nearly double from 2.5 per cent in 2012 to 4.4 per cent in 2013.

The findings cited local governments, banks, the judiciary, and the police as most corrupt institutions.

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