Members of the Judiciary have a tough challenge of curbing corruption to convince President Paul Kagame to consider increasing their salaries.
Kagame said this while reacting to a request by Chief Justice Prof. Sam Rugege who said his sector deserves a pay rise to continue delivering at the highest level.
According to Rugege, the sector has achieved a lot.
On Monday, the 2017/2018 Judicial year was launched at Parliamentary building in the capital Kigali.
President Kagame admitted much had been achieved by the judiciary, but singled out corruption as one of the biggest challenges the judiciary must sort out.
“The agreement is only if corruption is pulled down and there will be corresponding budget allocation,” he said amidst applause from a fully packed parliament.
The President said that there is evident transformation made in the justice sector, but more needs to be done. “Much has been achieved and judiciary has continued to win confidence of the people but we can only continue improving,” Kagame said.
Rugege said that 23% of case backlogs in Supreme Court were reduced during the closure of 2016/2017 Judicial Year. He said the judiciary has adopted an ‘Integrated Electronic Case Management System (IECMS).
The President said that government will continue to work with the judiciary especially in the area of improving technology. “We shall continue working together to deepen use of technology to enhance justice delivery by connecting more courtrooms to ICT.”
Rwanda’s IECMS received the Top Ten Tech Solutions Award at a joint conference of the National Association of Court Administrators and the International Association of Court Administrators held in Washington DC, United States.
IECMS enhances speed, accuracy, transparency, accountability and cost efficiency. The system generates jobs for trained young people at Internet cafes across Rwanda.
The President challenged justice sector to promote a culture of fair justice for all. “Our justice system must be defined by fairness and equality for all,” he said.
Rwanda is ranked 3rd least corrupt country in sub-Saharan Africa according to Transparency International’s 2016 report. The country is also ranked 50th least corrupt country globally.