I am happy to officiate at the swearing-in of the new Ombudsperson who has accepted the responsibilities of leading, together with all Rwandans, the fight against corruption and injustice in our country. I thank her and wish her well in her new responsibilities.
Actually, these responsibilities are not new to Ms. Nirere. She was the head of the National Human Rights Commission for a long time, and delivered to our expectations. She is now embarking on a new role.
As we all know, injustice and corruption are amongst the things that undermine Rwandans’ rights, destroy the social fabric, and slow down the country’s progress. We should fight this, and we have institutions tasked to do just that, and equipped to deliver. We need to see them working and implementing their mandate as they should.
In this fight, all our institutions complement each other, and should work together in everything as required. No institution can replace another or overrule it. They are tasked to work together and not to contradict each other. No institution should interfere in another institution’s mandate. One institution cannot leave behind its own mandate to go and interfere in that of another for whatever reason.
The Office of the Ombudsperson should work closely with partner institutions, especially those in the judiciary and local government. Where cases of corruption and injustice are found, that institution should be informed. And our expectations from the people in charge are to fast-track solving such issues.
In particular, the Office of the Ombudsperson should increase its efforts in educating Rwandans about their rights and laws that protect them, as well as other institutions to which they recourse. This education starts from our national values and finds its foundation in the respect of law.
Compared to many other places around the world, our country’s standing is not bad. However, we should not be complacent and think that everything is in order. Instead, we should build on the existing good things to prevent bad things from happening, and fight the bad things where they have occurred. This requires that we tighten our measures to eradicate these bad habits or deeds once and for all.
That is actually some of what we want the Ombudsperson to help us with. I think she understands what we need, and I think that it won’t be too difficult for her because she takes up these new responsibilities while this institution is undergoing reforms. She will also build on what she was doing in her previous responsibilities, her experience and the knowledge she has acquired. In addition to all that, we are all ready to support her and she will also work in collaboration with other institutions. All that will make her job easier.
Once again, I would like to thank you all and thank the Ombudsperson as well as promise her our full support and collaboration whenever she will need it.
I wish you all a nice day!