Thousands of residents of Kamonyi District turned up for the public exercise to destroy illicit drugs as the police warned of intensified operations to bring to justice defiant drug dealers.
At least psychotropic substances that include illicit gin, cannabis and other locally made harmful drinks destroyed, were seized in varied police operations in the last one year.
At least over Rwf15 million was spent by the dealers in this illegal business, which police called "avoidable loss."
The illicit gin mainly included Kanyanga and others packed in banned plastic bags such as African Gin, Blue Sky, Chief and Zebra waragi, whose alcoholic content are said to be above the recommended 45 percent maximum under the law governing narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and precursors in Rwanda.
The mayor of Kamonyi, Emmanuel Bahizi, while speaking to the residents on February 15, appealed to the residents to own their security by reporting anyone that could be involved in distilling or trafficking the psychotropic substances.
“Make security equally your daily responsibility, like development. Your prosperity in your business and your safety in whatever you do or at home depends on the state of security that exist, and these drugs are the obstacle to harmony in family, influence users to commit theft, rape women and defile minors, and worse still, has led to manslaughter and murder. Put a red line on that by reporting any drug dealer to police,” Bahizi said.
The District Police Commander, Chief Inspector of Police (CIP) of Kamonyi, Ndahimana Gisanga, warned that fighting drugs, among high impact crimes, remains one of the priorities and urged the residents to equally make it their priority in reporting anyone involved.
“We compiled 107 dossiers of all people who were arrested red-handed with these illicit drugs we have destroyed, which were forwarded to prosecution. Some of these people are facing varied prison sentences while others are still under judicial process. We will not tolerate anyone who tries to destabilize the social wellbeing of the people,” CIP Gisanga warned.
The exercise was also witnessed by Prosecutor Christa B. Kamikazi.
Fighting drug related crimes and breaking the chain of supply in particular, is among the Rwanda National Police (RNP) priority fields in crime prevention.
Early this month, Police in Kigali also disposed of an assortment of narcotic substances including 556 carton of banned illicit gins and over 3000 pellet of cannabis valued at about Rwf15.3million.
This was after other drugs including 200 kilogrammes of cannabis, valued at over Rwf46.4 million that were seized in Gasabo last month.
In the same way, police in Musanze and Gicumbi districts seized and destroyed psychotropic substances worth over Rwf46 million, in the last three months.
The increase in the seized narcotic drugs, police say, is due to increased public awareness that has strengthened partnership and information exchange with the people, and intensified operations especially in prone border districts.