About 40 former drug dealers and addicts, and owners of bars in Huye Sector of Huye District have vowed to play a prime role in raising awareness and fighting abuse and trafficking of illicit drugs.
They made the commitment in a meeting held on September 6 in Sove Cell and presided over by the Officer in Charge (OC) of Huye Police station, Inspector of Police (IP) Cassien Dukundimana.
The meeting was organized as part of the Rwanda National Police (RNP) ongoing countrywide community awareness to fight and prevent crimes and drug related crimes in particular.
Bertin Bazatoha, who shared his bad experience as once a drug dealer, said he was arrested and imprisoned on several occasions for making and selling illicit brew.
“That was money brown away every time I was arrested and the seized substances poured. It’s the money that would have brought more earnings, but instead I was investing in losses. Those who were drinking this illicit beer are the ones who would cause public disorder, engage in fighting over petty things and beat torment their spouses and children on getting home,” Bazatoha narrated.
“However, this opened my eyes, I decided to quit and venture in legal business and currently I am doing well. I have decided to partner with police to ensure that these illegal businesses are wiped out,” he added.
To Leonard Habinshuti, he decided to stop distilling and consuming Kanyanga – illicit gin – after he attended one of the Rwanda National Police community awareness campaigns.
“I heard and learnt a lot from that campaign; I heard testimonies from other former dealers, the consequences they had to go through including imprisonment and I decided to take the right direction including extending such messages to others,” Habinshuti said.
During the meeting, both the owners of bars and the reformed drug dealers committed to work together with the police and to use their testimonies to raise awareness against drug abuse in Huye.
IP Dukundimana thanked them for taking the right direction and appealed to them to always work with the police to address such issues.
“As police, we are always here to work with you; whenever you see anything illegal, be the first to inform police and this instant flow of information will give no room for wrongdoers to accomplish their illegal acts.”
He urged bar owners to abide by the law, refrain from offering alcoholic drinks to minors.