The Rwandan minister for foreign affairs, Charles Murigande, says his country?s zero tolerance policy for corruption is an African success story that has won the nation global accolades. This follows an announcement rating Rwanda as the least corrupt country in Africa. Murigande says unless African countries adopt anti-corruption policies, the democratization process on the continent will falter and economic transformations will slow. Under Rwandan law, a public servant implicated in a corruption scandal is immediately indicted or imprisoned, depending on the severity of the crime. He says peace and good governance act as pillars for Rwanda?s rapid economic growth. Charles Murigande spoke with VOA English to Africa reporter Peter Clottey about his country?s success in fighting corruption.

?There has been a lot of effort and a certain determination on behalf of the leadership of Rwanda to create corrupt free [policy]. We know very well that corruption is a type of cancer that has been destroying many countries in Africa?. We are determined to fight against that type of cancer.?

He says strong leadership and accountability are integral components in the struggle against corruption.

?I think everything starts by electing a leadership that is not corrupt?. President Kagame?is a very clean leader but also an inspiring leader who has been at the forefront of making sure that we run this country in a transparent way but has also been motivating the people of Rwanda to demand of their leader that they should be accountable. Accountability is probably our number one priority.?

Murigande says anti-corruption policy begins with leaders and the formation of enforcement institutions.

?I think it has to start from the leadership. I don?t think the people by themselves will be able to institute a transparency if that is not championed by their leadership?. Once you have a leadership that is championing the transparency [and] accountability, then you have to build institutions that make sure that the accountability [and] transparency?[take effect]?."  

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