Materials and equipment owned by the Rwanda National Police and the Rwanda Investigations Bureau (RIB) now have the same rating as those of the Army and intelligence agencies.
A Presidential Order published July 18, 2019 in the national gazette rates as “classified” all equipment owned by the Police and RIB.
For RIB, the order refers to: weapons and their ammunitions; vehicles; helicopters and their accessories; information and telecommunication devices including radars, telephones, radios, cameras, computer software and their accessories; facilities including the head Office of RIB, offices of RIB at Province, District, station levels and arms depots; and uniforms and their accessories.
As for the Police, the order refers to all the above which are similar to RIB, but also adds: riot control equipment; specialised fire and rescue equipment; and Police dogs and their related equipment, drugs and food.
RIB was launched in April last year to be the civilian investigating agency separate from the Police. It has its own agents spread across the country.
Both bodies report to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General, currently Johnston Busingye.
Under the new presidential order, everything bought by the two entities will not be subjected to the cumbersome and lengthy procurement procedure overseen by the Rwanda Public Procurement Authority (RPPA).
If Police wants to buy anything, Inspector General of Police, Dan Munyuza “establishes special tender committee”.
“Procurement of [Police] classified equipment….is done either through single-source procurement or short listing and expression of interest,” reads the presidential order.
As for RIB, the Secretary General, Col Ruhunga Kibezi Jeannot undertakes a similar process as with the Police chief.
Only three instances have oversight over what these agencies buy: the Prime Minister, Finance Minister and the Minister of Justice/Attorney General.
It is unclear if such a mechanism has been in existence before the current new Order. If indeed it was not on the books, it meant that their purchases had to be reviewed by RPPA and the Parliamentary Accounts Committee (PAC).
With the “classified” tag, RIB and police equipment now join those of the RDF and the National Intelligence & Security Service (NISS).
The new classification also means that publication of details of the RIB or police equipment is a very serious criminal offence.