Police in Nyabihu District have arrested two people in connection with attempting to bribe a police officer with Rwf15, 000.
According to the Western Region Police Spokesperson, Chief Inspector of Police (CIP) Theobard Kanamugire, the suspects identified as Abdallah Ndacyayisenga and Emmanuel Byukusenge were arrested on August 18 at about midnight as they illegally transported charcoal.
“The duo was driving a Daihatsu RAB 102J and when an officer on the checkpoint stopped them and asked for transport authorization permit to transport charcoal, which they didn’t have, they instead tried to bribe him with Rwf 15,000. The officers immediately arrested them and impounded their truck,” said CIP Kanamugire.
He pointed out that for someone to transport charcoal; they must have a license acquired from the district indicating where they got the charcoal and where it is taken.
The whole idea to have such a transport authorization paper is to prevent illegal charcoal burning, deforestation and environmental degradation in general.
The organic law determining the modalities of protection, conservation and promotion of environment in Rwanda prohibits the felling of trees in forests and protected areas.
Article 96 states that “anyone who, in a manner that is not provided for by the law that governs it, burns, cuts trees or who causes others to do so or kills animals in protected forests and other protected areas and in national parks, is punished by an imprisonment of two months to two years and a fine ranging from Rwf300, 000 to Rwf2 million or one of the two penalties.”
Accomplices are also liable for the same penalties.
“Cutting of trees or deforestation contributes to environment degradation, which in one way or another has effects on people’s health and the ecosystem, which we can’t allow. These are acts that are against the environmental law and other legal instruments like the penal code in its article 416,” said CIP Kanamugire
He appealed to communities residing near forestry reserves to take the lead to conserve them and report those who encroach on them.
Penalties for anyone convicted of corruption range between two and seven years and a fine of up to ten times the value of illegal benefit demanded as stipulated under articles 633 to 651 of the Rwanda penal code.