Citizens’ charter in Kigali was introduced last week. This charter makes it much easier for Rwandans to request and obtain services they are eligible to without a hassle. The minister of public service and labour said at the launch of the charter that when people know what services they are eligible for and who should provide them with it, and what their rights are, they will be in a better position to demand and get a better deal for themselves without having to pay any bribe.
Rwanda’s combat against corruption is known for its tough, uncompromising stand. Corruption has disappeared from the highest ranks of government. Equally, it is known that some sort of it still remains at lower ranks.
The local chapter of Transparency International and also the Ombudsman have oten reported that corruption still exists at the lower ranks of government, especially local government. Interestingly, the day the citizens’ charter was launched, newspapers reported the arrest of a local leader for allegedly confiscating the property of people who had not made their health insurance fund contributions. it is unacceptable whether this was an instance of overzealousness or abuse of office.
Now, this should not mean that the situation is very bad at the local level. You will find lots of great things happening there. Rwanda’s economy continues to be growing steadily for well over ten years. The country is now self-sufficient in food production, and health and education have improved.
Rwandan’s have set the standard high against corruption and anything short of that looks erroneous and unacceptable. That is certainly the way it ought to be. In case the citizens’ charter helps us maintain that high standard, good.