December 6, 2019

Two Judges Arrested After Kagame Renews Anti-corruption Fight In Judiciary


President Paul Kagame speaking on Friday at the swearing of the Chief Justice and Prosecutor General

RIB announced Friday that it had arrested three judicial officers over corruption, a few hours after President Paul Kagame swore in new Chief Justice and called for new measures on graft in the judiciary.

The two judges are; Mushimiyiryo Pacifique, a Judge at Muhanga Intermediate Court and Mugabutwaza Vincent, Judge at Rusizi Intermediate Court.

The other arrested is court registrar Banashenge Victoire, working at Muhanga Intermediate Court.

The suspects were taken into custody over allegations of corruption from complainants who had cases pending before the courts of law, said RIB in a statement.

The arrests also follow a 2019 Rwanda Bribery Index released by Transparency Rwanda which ranked the judiciary as the 5th most bribe infested sector, after TVET, traffic police and RIB.

Earlier, Kagame was at Parliamentary buildings where he presided over swearing of the new Chief Justice Dr Faustin Nteziryayo, Prosecutor General Aimable Havugiyaremye and their deputies.

Kagame said the Chief Justice had to do whatever it takes to eradicate corruption in the judiciary.

“When corruption becomes a culture in the judiciary, it eventually becomes culture in the whole country. We do not wish for that,” said Kagame.

“It is contrary to the current path to prosperity which we have undertaken.”

Kagame said graft culprits should be called out to account and severely punished to discouraged others.

He said judicial officials are expected to be epitome of integrity who are looked up to by citizens as upright arbiters.

Chief Justice Dr Faustin Nteziryayo, also a former Justice Minister

The President also paid glowing tribute to the outgoing Chief Justice Prof Sam Rugege, who retired after nearly a decade at the helm of the judiciary.

Among the successes that will mark Prof Rugege’s tenure is his ability to convince the executive to back establishment of a Fund for judicial officers.

Within less than 3years of establishment, it now has about a billion Francs saved, and has disbursed to members Rwf 652m – a considerably high amount of money.

The Fund gives low interest development loans to judicial officials, a scheme the former Chief Justice believed would discourage bribery and improve their welfare.

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