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Kagame Calls For Expedition Of Mediation Initiatives For Litigation

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President Paul Kagame has said that the justice system should aim at supporting growth of a culture of playing by the rules.

He said that the Rwandan society and economy have grown in size, dynamism and expectations and thus “the justice system needs to keep watching this evolution and to continually play its rightful role in support of this growth.”

He made the remarks on Friday while presiding over the swearing-in ceremony of newly appointed, judges that include Dr. Aimé Muyoboke Kalimunda of the Supreme Court, François Régis Rukundakuvuga, the President of Court of Appeal, and President of Commercial Court, Clotilde Mukamurera.

Kagame reminded the new judges that they should be the champions of playing by the rule of law.

The President insisted that the upcoming initiatives around promotion of mediation should be expedited as “they present a real alternative to litigation that practically places disputants at the centre of the resolution of their own dispute, and does so faster.”

“We are happy [that] the Rule of Law Index placed Rwanda at 37 globally. But that means we have 36 countries front of us, this only means more work to sustain and up our gains,” the President said.

The Rule of Law Index assesses the extent which countries or territories adhere to the rule of law in practice by examining eight factors, such as constraints on government powers, absence of corruption, open government, fundamental rights, order and security, regulatory enforcement, civil justice and criminal justice.

“Members of the judiciary should be the first to play by the rules for Rwandans to feel comfortable that they have a justice system in which they can place their trust and continue with their daily lives,” Kagame told the new judges.

If the public, whatever size of it, the President noted, perceives the judiciary or another justice institution as corrupt, inefficient, ineffective or influenceable “we are all safer assuming that the perception is founded and work to find out why it exists and what needs to be done.”

The President’s call comes at a time when the judicially is facing immense criticism over not only delayed adjudication of cases, but also wide spread corruption in some members of the judicially, causing economic losses and triggering lengthly conflicts between parties.

According to the 2020 Transparency International Bribery Index Report, empirical research demonstrates public bribery’s negative impact on global economies, including its power to reduce private foreign investment into countries that host bribery, lower a host country’s tax base, and positively correlate with reduced economic development.

The reports says that, the solid body of scholarship overwhelmingly concludes that bribing domestic and foreign public officials harms governments, commercial entities, global markets, and the public at large.

“Public and private bribery are twin forms of corruption, with public officials and private persons,
respectively, abusing entrusted power for personal gain by accepting bribes,” the report says.

In the Rule Of Law Index, Rwanda is 45th globally, scoring 60% on the constraints on government powers brought by the extent to which those who govern are bound by law.

The factor comprises the means, both constitutional and institutional, by which the powers of the government and its officials and agents are limited and held accountable under the law. It also includes non-governmental checks on the government’s power, such as a free and independent press.

According to the World Press Freedom Index, Rwanda continues to fall in media rankings for example this year the index put Rwanda at 156th position globally falling from 155th last year, a factor that fuels inability to hold those in power to account.

Taarifa has consistently reported and exposed corruption and abuse of power among public officials, but rarely do we see any action taken against them. Cases in point include the rot in the Rwanda Land Management and Use Authority (RLMA), Prosecution and the Judiciary.

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National

Police Intercepts 88 People At Wedding Reception

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About 88 people have been intercepted at a wedding reception convened at Green Mountain Biking Garden in Nyamirambo a suburb in the capital Kigali.

According to details, the wedding was of a couple identified as Buregeya Saidi Codo (34 yrs) and Nyampundu Thausie.

Other details showed that apart from the bride and groom, the rest of the group did not test for COVID-19 as prerequisite for attending such an event. This is in addition to violation of physical and social distancing guidelines on COVID-19.

As the norm, all the people that have been at the wedding event will spend the whole night at Amahoro Stadium and will be subjected to other procedures.

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National

Africa Mourns Zambia’s Founding President Kenneth Kaunda

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The government of the Republic of Zambia has declared 21 days of mourning to honour the life of former President Kenneth Kaunda who died Thursday.

According to the Secretary to the Cabinet and Principal Private Secretary to the president Simon Miti said Dr Kaunda died peacefully at 14:30 hours at the Maina Soko Military Hospital in Lusaka, just three years short of a century at 97 years.

Dr Kaunda was Born on April 28, 1924.

President Edgar Lungu said during the period of mourning, all activities of entertainment nature will be suspended and all flags will fly at half-mast.

He said through Cabinet Office, Government will guide the public on details of the funeral and burial programme for the fallen former head of State, taking into consideration the COVID-19 guidelines as prescribed by the Ministry of Health.

President Lungu has since sent his condolences to the family of Dr Kaunda on behalf of Government and Zambians.

Veteran politician Vernon Mwaanga, a former diplomat in Dr Kaunda’s government for many years, said he will remember the former President for his passionate commitment to liberate the continent from colonialism.

“His contribution to Zambia, Africa and the world was huge and was regarded larger than life. He mentored and gave me opportunities at a young age of 21 years,” Mr Mwaanga said in a statement.

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New ICC Prosecutor Karim Asad Takes Oath

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The International Criminal Court officially has a new Prosecutor that begun working on Wednesday after taking oath at a ceremony held at the Seat of the Court in The Hague, The Netherlands.

Karim Asad Ahmad Khan QC a national of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland will serve as Prosecutor for a period of nine years.

“I solemnly undertake that I will perform my duties and exercise my powers as Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court honourably, faithfully, impartially and conscientiously, and that I will respect the confidentiality of investigations and prosecutions,” Khan declared.

Khan then signed his oath before the ICC Registrar, Mr Peter Lewis, and delivered his first remarks as the Prosecutor of the ICC.

“The Rome Statute architecture is a promise to the future that tomorrow need not be as bleak and sorrowful as yesterday”, stated Prosecutor Khan.

“I am truly and sincerely humbled at my opportunity to serve, and the responsibilities that have been entrusted in me. I will do my outmost to discharge those responsibilities without fear or favour, faithfully and with integrity, and in full conformity with solemn declaration that I have just given”, he added.

Subject to provisions of Article 45 of the Rome Statute, founding treaty of the ICC, the ceremony was held in open court.

The ceremony was presided over by ICC President, Judge Piotr Hofmański.

“While Judges are the ones who ultimately decide on the verdict in each case, it is also true that those cases would never reach the judges without the Prosecutor’s decision to bring them to court,” President Hofmański noted.

He also said that It is the Prosecutor who is responsible for the way in which preliminary examinations, investigations and prosecutions are conducted, and how evidence for the prosecution is selected and presented.

“On behalf of the Court, I offer heartfelt congratulations to Mr Karim Asad Ahmad Khan QC. As President of the Court, I look forward to working with him to strengthen our joint institution”, he added.

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