Reports in Rwanda say some corrupt police officers have been fired for neglect of duty and seeking bribes. Police officials say the officers also failed to adhere to a zero tolerance corruption principle espoused by Rwandan police. Meanwhile, more than one hundred police officers were fired last year, including senior commanders, in a similar drive to root out graft in the police force.
Willie Higiro is the spokesman for the Rwanda Police. He spoke with VOA English to Africa reporter Peter Clottey about the fired police officers.
“The seventy police officers who have been sacked or fired are either undisciplined or has committed various crimes like corruption drugs and so forth that the police institution cannot tolerate, and that is a lesson for everyone,” Higiro noted.
He says investigations are still ongoing to weed out corrupt police officers.
“We have made serious investigations about those cases and those police officers who may be caught bribing people and taking bribes would be caught. And then they will recognize that crime and would have to accept the consequences from those bad acts,” he said.
Higiro explains the punishment those police officers would face if caught in the ongoing investigations.
“As usual, first of all in a disciplinary manner, they have to be fired from the police institution. Then they will face criminal prosecution because in our penal code, corruption in a crime, which is punishable by the law. And after they face prosecution, that is the way things has to be done,” he said.
Higiro says the Rwandan police have structures in place to combat police officers that might be involved in corruption.
“There are so many strategies. Among others, there is that part of searching them. And that is a lesson for the rest of the police officers. And secondly, we are having training for the police officers about combating crimes. And it is also the concern of the state of Rwanda as a whole to combat corruption. And everybody is now aware of that serious crime,” he said.
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