Forty police officers drawn from different departments and speacialised units of Rwanda National Police, on July 23, started a two-day retreat at Rwanda National Police (RNP) headquarters in Kacyiru in an effort to strengthen the fight against graft both within the force and the country in general.
Participants include officers attached to the Inspectorate of Services and Ethics (ISE), traffic, Revenue Protection Unit (RPU), CID and criminal Intelligence, among others.
The Inspector General of Police (IGP) Emmanuel K. Gasana, who officiated at the opening of the retreat, challenged the officers “work on prevention” in responding to corruption.
“This requires awareness and thorough detection and investigations; we have to move with the new trends, build a quality force defined by discipline and this positive behavior be transferred to all Rwandans through enhanced awareness,” the IGP said.
In his presentation on the “role of ISE in turning the police vision into impact,” IGP Gasana noted that “anti-corruption agencies are pivotal in ensuring nation’s stability and success.”
The Inspectorate of Services and Ethics is partly charged with fighting corruption and embezzlement in public institutions.
“The ISE is key in realizing the police vision and mission, but this requires the department to understand and interpret its mission in support of the institution accomplishments,” he noted.
For them to accomplish their assignments in fighting corruption, he noted, they should understand “essential” things; they must be informed (must know), be well prepared and equipped (must have) and what they are supposed to do (must do).
“You should know the national policy choice, institutional values and professional doctrines, mission clarity and create networks,” he said.
Constant inspection, supervision, audit, investigations and training, the Police Chief said, will effectively drive the force’s zero tolerance to corruption either within the institution or across the country.
The opening session was also attended by the chairperson of Transparency International-Rwanda, Marie Immaculee Ingabire and Athanase Gatare, a senior investigator in the Office of Ombudsman.
RNP enjoys unique partnership with the two anti-corruption watchdogs in the fight against graft, embedded in the standing MoUs.
On her part, Ingabire noted that “both TI-Rwanda and RNP we are convinced that sharing information is instrumental for the success of our initiative to fight against corruption.”
TI-Rwanda receives information but does not prosecute nor investigate on cases; the police have among its main mandate activities to prevent, detect and investigate these offences,” Ingabire said.
Although Police has been listed among the most corrupt institutions, she maintained that “RNP has well defined the country’s political will” in fighting the vice.
At least 201 out of 7953 graft cases recorded by TI-Rwanda in 2015 were against police officers.
“There can be negative solidarity on an individual to solicit bribe or embezzle public funds but there is no negative ideology of an institution and RNP has set that straight and clear in its policies, and that continues to show positive outcomes and a clear definition of the country’s political will,” she said.
RNP also established a disciplinary unit, ethics centre which instill professional standards, values and norms among the police personnel and even to partners; conducts internal audits and established a toll-free line 997, all which have been instrumental in keeping their personnel in check as well as fighting graft in public institutions.
The Commissioner for ISE, ACP Jean Nepo Mbonyumuvunyi said that during the two day retreat, they will evaluate their duties and responses in fighting corruption, come up with new stringent measures to break the existing challenges and further acquire more understanding of patriotism, ethics and professionalism.