Media practitioners urged to denounce corruption
On Wednesday, the office of Ombudsman urged journalists to play great role in denouncing corruption in the process of promoting good governance.
“As the press is the fourth Estate, journalists have an important role to play in denouncing bad practices and doing investigative work that can be useful in promoting accountability,” said Athanase Gatera, the acting director of preventing and fighting against corruption unit at the office of Ombudsman.
He pointed out that the role of journalists in raising public awareness is paramount in a society where people are still too little aware of their rights or how to report injustices.
The involvement of the press in preventing corruption is a legal right provided by the Law No 23/2003 related to the punishment of corruption and related offences, in its article 9. The law states: “Notwithstanding the legal provisions governing the Press, the Press must get involved in the prevention and the fight against any act of corruption and related offences by publicizing the acts of corruption and related offences discovered in all sector service organs.
Institutions involved in the prevention and fight against corruption must put in place mechanisms of collaborating with the press in this respect.”
“The Office of the Ombudsman really needs support from the media so that we can achieve our goals,” said Xavier Mbarubukeye, the permanent secretary at the office.
He added that the collaboration with journalists provides a great opportunity to reach out to many people as they also work hand in hand with parliament, the executive and justice organs in handling all cases of bad practices.