The Rwandan senate is currently reviewing the penal code in order to harmonize it with the constitution passed in the year 2003 and other laws that were enacted in subsequent years. Marie Mukantabana, vice president of the senate explains why it was necessary to make amendments to it.
"The penal code came into force in 1977 and in the meantime many things have changed, other laws have been enacted and the legal environment has changed, reforms have taken place, and it was time for the revised penal code which will be suitable for the current circumstances. There are items that will be added and there are laws that contain provisions, penalty clauses, and the penal code revision should incorporate all that. So the current code is richer since it takes into account all the changes that have occurred in the meantime."
The penal code has more than 600 articles and that number may change as the review is not finished yet. Mukantabana added that the senate committee has completed its review of all the articles and adopted the report and the bill will be submitted to the Senate in a plenary session that begins on the 6th of June. The senate will then adopt it and hand it over to the chamber of deputies which is expected to adopt the changes made by the senate.