Residents of Burera District have been urged to collectively be part of community security initiatives like Irondo – night patrols – and neighbourhood watch to strengthen the fight against criminality and improve public safety.
The mayor of Burera, Florence Uwambajemariya made the call on September 20 during a community meeting in Nembe Sector where she addressed over 700 residents.
The meeting was also attended by the District Police Commander, Supt. Dieudonné Rwangombwa.
While addressing the residents, mayor Uwambajemariya emphasized the need to work together with the police to combat the use and sell of illicit drugs, the most practiced crime in the district, which she said has been marked for fueling most other crimes.
“The problem with narcotic drugs is that anyone can be a victim irrespective of the age. This, in turn, affects households, communities, education, health and morals without insecurities it brings along such as domestic violence, theft and at times homicides,” the mayor said.
Most drugs registered in Rwanda are cannabis, banned gin like Kanyanga, Zebra and Chief waragi, and illicit brew under different brand names such as muriture, bareteta, yewe muntu and ibikwangari.
Supt. Rwangombwa challenged residents to work together and in collaboration with security organs to eliminate all forms of crimes in their communities.
“A responsible citizen is one who influences values, standards, and information to members of the community. He or she should also have the courage to alert police and local leaders whenever they are approached by evil-minded people including drug dealers,” Supt. Rwangombwa said.
Police has continuously embarked on public sensitization that focuses most on encouraging members of the public to report anyone they suspect of being involved in criminal activities.
“We are seeing a big impact of the community awareness campaigns, the public especially those residing along the border where the illicit substances are trafficked through porous borders, giving us credible information, let’s build on that to make neighbourhoods hard places for their criminal doings.”
Growing, selling, transformation, transportation, storage and consumption of narcotic drugs are prohibited under article 593 and punishable under article 594, with a term of imprisonment of three to five years and a fine of Rwf500,000 to Rwf5 million.