37 graft cases to be tried this week, says Chief Justice

Courts across the country will this week try 37 corruption-related cases as part of efforts geared at ensuring zero tolerance to corruption.

Chief Justice Prof Sam Rugege (R) and his deputy, Sylvie Zainab Kayitesi, at the press briefing yesterday. Justice Rugege said the fight against corruption is yielding fruits. T. Kisambira..

Chief Justice Prof. Sam Rugege announced this yesterday at the launch of a weeklong anti-corruption drive within the Judiciary.

“In 2013, about168 people were charged with corruption, among them 133 people were convicted and sentenced. This week alone, all pending corruption cases in courts will be tried,” said Rugege.

Without mentioning names, Rugege also disclosed that a judge and two court clerks were in recent days expelled from the profession in connection with corruption-related charges.

“Even when there is lack of sufficient evidence to secure a conviction in court, the Judiciary may still decide to take administrative measures, including dismissal,” said Rugege.

According to Transparency International, Rwanda is the least corrupt country in the African continent, but inside the country, Judiciary is among the most corrupt institutions.

The Chief Justice observed that the anti-corruption campaign has been fruitful since the time it started two years ago.

He also said that Judiciary is strict with staffs who are implicated in corruption tendencies.

Sexual favours

The anti-corruption week is an annual campaign and is year all the judges were tasked with giving a lecture on corruption prevention before starting any trial.

In 2012, people who were convicted of corruption in the country totaled to 111 and, according to Rugege, more people now report corruption cases than before.

Last year, Transparency International expressed concerns over the increasing number of sexually related corruption in the country.

However, the Chief Justice said no case related to this form of corruption had been filed in courts lately.

Transparency International and the Global Competitiveness report 2012/2013 said Rwanda was among countries with least corrupt justice system.

By Edwin Musoni,The New Times

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