The Eastern province residents appeal for robbers who steal their harvests while they claim for tough security for their crops in the fields.
The case of crops theft has happened in different Eastern Province’s Districts including Rwamagana, Gatsibo, Ngoma and where farmers say it is causing them facing food and financial crisis due to growing for robbers.
Some residents from Rukira in Ngoma District say bananas are mostly stolen in their farm fields where the robbers steal them and take them to the market.
One of the crop theft victims says, “We are now forced to harvest bananas not because they are ready for harvest but in race take them away from robbers who always target to harvest them where at left 5 bananas can be stolen in a single and obviously, this is not done by one person but a team”
In Kirehe, Mushikiri Sector, people are also crying for such theft where a resident claimed, “There are lazy people around who spend the whole night in people’s banana plantations, harvest bananas and sell them”
He said on Tuesday, May 23rd a man and his wife were caught stealing bananas and were fined Rwf 47 000 before they let them go. They stole a lot of bananas which one can’t imagine that they were for eating but for sale.
In Gatsibo, the same case happens, especially in Gasange Sector and in Murambi Sector’s Rwankuba and Murambi Cells.
In Rwamagana, when a thief is caught stealing, people mercilessly beat them up. Such cases happen in Kigabiro and Munyaga after they have been crying for their crops which were being stolen, especially in Nkungu cell until they decided to hold special night security for their crops.
However, they were warned to hold unauthorized punishments to thieves once they catch them stealing, soothing which they do not feel happy with as they accuse the local authorities of releasing the thieves without holding any charges against them, claiming that not charging them favors them keep stealing.
“People, mainly youth, never work, always thinking about how they will harvest our crops. This is extremely too much, we, farmers, are tired of growing for thieves,” a farmer said.
Another resident in Nkungu cell said they spend sleepless nights watching out thieves for their crops’ protection.
S/he said, “We asked the local authorities about the issue of the theft of our harvest in our cell but they to hold tight security for our crops in the fields during the nights. We never sleep because thieves cannot fear to get into fields and harvest until they empty the fields”
Samuel Mfitumukiza, the Executive Secretary of Nkunga Cell, said of such theft that, “ the people have told us their problem and we told them to team up for tighter security for their crops in the fields because the usual night community security cannot operate security in people’s fields”
“ and those who, people say, are arrested and released without any single charge are the suspects that we have a list of them but we find no reason to hand them to the police once they are arrested by members of the community because we find no evidence that they stole. Their crops get stolen and they rush to catch those who they suspect, especially youth between 18 and 20 years of age. But we decided to encourage people to engage into labor activities”
The Eastern Province Governor, Judith Kazayire, talked of such robbery that, “ the issue of theft has been voiced out in our province and we have joined hands with different security departments to fight it, by putting more efforts in night community security and things have got to change since then and thee issue is getting addressed”
She admits that there are some parts in the province where the issue still happens but called residents for tight night community security and provide information about those who appear to be behind such robbery incidents.
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