Rwanda National Police (RNP) has condemned people who take matters into their own hands against ‘suspected wrongdoers’ calling it “criminal” and warning of appropriate legal action against such individuals.
The warning follows a recent incident in Nyamagabe District where two men allegedly lynched a man whom they accused to be a thief.
The incident occurred on Monday in Kagano Cell of Kitabi Sector when, at about 6:00 am, Jean Nsanzimana, 21, and Theoneste Hakorineza, 29, allegedly assaulted one Vuganeza Misigaro alias Kayabo, who succumbed to injuries as he was being taken to the hospital by the residents.
Nsanzimana and Hakorineza, who have since been arrested over the criminal act, had accused Misigaro of stealing a banana from their plantation.
“If a person is suspected of a certain crime, they should allow the course of justice to run and prove so, because taking matters in your own hands is interfering with justice, which is a crime itself and punishable by the law,” said the Chief Inspector of Police (CIP) Andre Hakizimana, police spokesperson for the Western Province.
“The role of community policing is to share information on any unlawful act, and since these two suspected the deceased to be involved in criminal acts, they should have shared information in real time or even apprehend and hand him over to the police for appropriate action,” CIP Hakizimana added.
“Theft, for example, is a crime punishable with an imprisonment of six months to two years, but their action is punishable with a term of imprisonment of between ten and 15 years under article 151 of the penal code…that’s the consequence of taking the law in your own hands.”