108 convicted over corruption in five months- Ombudsman

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The office of ombudsman successfully prosecuted a total of 108 people over corruption in five months, ombudsman Anastase Murekezi said.

Speaking at a press conference in Kigali on Friday, Murekezi said from August last year to January this year 108 people were found guilty of receiving, soliciting or offering bribes, in different courts.

Among the convicts 90 were men and 18 women, he said.
The cases were worth about 385 million Rwandan francs and 369, 110 US dollars, according to him.

The culprits in different categories, 61 people were convicted of receiving or offering bribes, 35 embezzlement among others, he added.

The convicts were fined about 1.7 billion Rwanda francs and handed prison sentences ranging between one and ten years, he added.

According to Murekezi, these are the cases his office prosecuted but other high profile cases are being handled in courts by other anti-corruption organs of the state.

He added that while many people think low amounts of money is involved in low profile cases of ordinary people such as drivers, farmers, taxi motorcyclists or business people who dominate their list, the sum total could turn out to be a lot over time if not tackled.

Rwanda was ranked 48th least corrupt country globally, and third in Africa, according to Corruption Perception Index 2017 published by Transparency International in February last year.

The bribery index showed that in 2017 about 1.6 million Rwandans gave bribes for various reasons, with an average of 41 U.S. dollars per person, or some 65million U.S. dollars.

One of the challenges to fighting corruption is that about 85 percent of Rwandans are not willing to report corruption, according to the ombudsman.  

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