Rwandan police force kicks out 386 officers

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Rwanda National Police (RNP) has dismissed about 386 police officers over gross misconduct in its latest bid to clean up law enforcement.

The officers, including 18 senior sergeants, 104 sergeants, corporals, and constables were sacked through a ministerial order published on February 16.

The number is more than six times the total number of police officers the force dismissed between January and October last year, signalling the ongoing quiet cleaning-up of the force.

While details of the dismissal are yet to be made public, the ministerial order refers to Articles 69 and 70 of the specific statute for police officers pertaining to dismissal without notice and definitive dismissal from the service respectively.

As per the clauses, 146 officers under the definitive dismissal are likely to have been sacked over serious disciplinary faults, while more than 240 who were discharged without notice could have abandoned duty, made false declarations during recruitment, restricted by the penal laws to resume service or had not been promoted for two consecutive times.

RNP has had a “zero tolerance to corruption” stance over the years in attempts to tackle graft.

However, the force is still considered one of the most corrupt institutions.

The dismissals come in the wake of growing reports of police officers’ exploitation of lockdown and travel restriction measures put in place to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic since March last year.

“Some people were forced to pay bribes in order to escape arrest and penalties imposed by police and local leaders,” the corruption watchdog Transparency International indicated in its 2020 Rwanda Bribery Index report.

 

Edited by Olajumoke Adeleke

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