RWANDA: Five Key Highlights From Ombudsman’s Annual Report


On October 18, the Ombudsman presented the activity report of her office for the financial year 2022-2023 to a joint Upper and Lower House sitting.

Overall, the report covers various events related to dealing with injustice and fighting corruption, in line with the office’s mandate.

The following are five key highlights from the report:

Over 2,800 cases of corruption and injustice received

While presenting the report to legislators, Ombudsman Madeleine Nirere said that her office received 2,835 cases of corruption and injustice in the financial year 2022/2023, either through written petitions or through anti-corruption and injustice outreach programme.

Of these cases, 2,306 were solved, while 488 were still being handled by various concerned institutions, and 41 by the Ombudsman.

2. Land related disputes account for majority of cases

According to the Ombudsman, five categories led in terms of complaints related to corruption and injustice that were lodged by residents.

They include land related complaints which accounted for 1,018 cases, or almost 40 per cent of the total. They were followed by disatisfaction with court case jugdments, where residents filed 442 complaints.

Non-executed court decisions came in third place with 396 complaints, grievances related to expropriation followed with 345 cases, while those concerning other properties (excluding land) amounted to 228, coming in the fith position.

3. Review of court cases over injustice grounds

Ombudsmana said that people who were not satisfied with court judgments filed 484 cases seeking their review for justice purposes – through retrial by the Supreme Court.

Lawsuits represented more than half of the cases as they were 294, followed by criminal cases and commercial cases with 77, and 57 complaints, respectively.

Nirere indicated that her office requested retrial of only 11 cases – represernting 2.3 per cent of the total – while 460 or 95 per cent were not considered for retrial because no injustice was detected in their judgements.

Meanwhile, she pointed out that 13 cases – accounting for 2.7 per cent of the total – were solved through mediation – without necessitating another legal action.

“Mediation has proven to yield good results as it helps to address disputes amicably, without causing damages including costs that would be incurred once people resort to courts for trial,” she told Senators and MPs during the abovementioned plenary sitting.

4. Over 99 per cent of public officials declared their assets

In line with transparency in sources of finance, 17,687 people declared their assets to the Ombudsman, representing 99.95 per cent of 17,695 people who were concerned by such on obligation.

“Only 8 people, or 0.05 per cent, did not declare their assets be handed a penalty of suspension from work for one month without salary as provided for by the law,” Nirere said.

5. Implementation of Ombudsman’s recommendation

In monitoring how public entities and programmes implemented 90 recommendations of the Office of the Ombudsman – made in 2021-2022 – for improved operations, an assessment by the office indicated that they were implemented at 63.3 per cent rate.

According to Nirere, 28.8 per cent of the recommendations were still under implementation, while 8.9 per cent were not yet implemented.

She pointed out that every concerned public entity explained reasons for non-implementation of the recommendations in question, and that the office will continue making a follow up to ensure they are executed.

-------------------THE NEW TIMES