The figures were revealed yesterday during the ’Police High Council’ held at Police headquarters in Kacyiru and chaired by the Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Johnston Busingye.
The council was also attended by the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Dan Munyuza and Deputy IGPs; Juvenal Marizamunda in charge of Administration and Personnel, and Felix Namuhoranye for Operations.
It brought together RNP leadership, heads of departments and territorial units, regional, and district commanders, among others. It also tackled other aspects related to the response to COVID-19, force discipline and welfare.
Inspector General of Police (IGP) Dan Munyuza said that the Council held towards the end of the year provides a platform to assess what has been achieved, where the force stands and the future prospects in terms of provision of security for the people and their property but in consideration of the law.
He explained that the welfare of Police officers, service delivery, continuous while training aimed at improving skills, acquiring modern policing equipment, infrastructure development are also given emphasis though some members are held accountable for indiscipline cases.
Despite the efforts to further improve the welfare of Police officers, some of them exhibit acts of indiscipline such as soliciting bribes. In this year, 425 Police officers were held accountable for various cases of indiscipline (corruption, desertion, drunkenness, theft and poor services). This number, however, indicates a downward trend from 587 Police officers dismissed from the force in 2019," noted IGP Dan Munyuza.
In the provision of services, Minister Busingye challenged Police officers to always respect human rights and operate within the limits of the law, adding that whoever acts contrary is held accountable.
"Anyone, who engages in criminal acts, however small or big the crime is, affects the rights and wellbeing of the people; Rwandans have showed, through various platforms, that they cannot stand injustice. When a crime is committed, responsible institutions should act swiftly, comfort victims and bring suspects to book," he said.
Crime prevention is the catalyst to peace, he said, adding that this should start from households, support efforts to ensure that all children are in school, young people educated to start small income generating activities and to be custodians of the law rather than being lawbreakers.
He pledged the government’s continued support towards Police professional services through training and advanced policing equipment.
In the past days, there has been a spate of public outcry in recent days criticizing some police officers for breaking the law as they enforce lawful orders that includes shooting civilians.
The latter saw President Paul Kagame issuing instructions to police top management to completely address the issue.
Later on, Police Spokesperson, CP John Bosco Kabera said that it was inappropriate for the police to use excessive force, and that the police are going to make efforts to inform Rwandans of how such people are being prosecuted.
He cited examples of police officers who shot dead civilians in Nyanza District and beat a resident of Rwamagana to death, all of whom were being prosecuted.
“Police officers involved in the recent incidents of brutality have been arrested and investigations are ongoing,” CP Kabera said.
“A police officer who shot people to death on March, in Nyanza on a motorcycle, was arrested, is being prosecuted. He is in prison, but people don’t know what happened next.”
Police officer who recently beat a resident of Rwamagana District, Karenge is in courts litigation. Also, another one who recently shot to death a resident of Zaza in Ngoma is under investigation. He further added that in addition to legal penalties, police officers are subject to disciplinary action including those that mistreat members of the public, those who harass citizens, those who provide poor services, and those who neglect duty, among others.
CP Kabera says that Police has the mandate to punish its members that police personnel with punishments lasting over six months are dismissed.
Mistakes attracting dismissal in Rwanda’s Police include desertion for over 15 days, possession of explosives with the intention of destabilizing security, corruption, drunkenness, theft and poor services among others.
56 of police members dismissed in August are officers including three senior officers and one at the rank of commissioner.
The list of 17/08/2020 Presidential Order dismissing Officers from Rwanda National Police includes Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Mutsinzi Eric, and three Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), SSP Vuningoma Alex, SSP Kabanda Emmanuel and Kamali Celestin.
ACP Eric Mutsinzi Spokesperson in Northern Province, commander of Police Battalion on peacekeeping mission in South Sudan in 2016.
SSP Kabanda also served as Police Spokesperson of Traffic Police. In January 2019, he was among 140 police forces on peacekeeping mission in the Republic of Central Africa holding the rank of Chief Superintendent of Police.
Nine Chief Inspector of Police (CIP), Twenty Inspector of Police (IP) and 23 Assistant Inspector of Police (AIP) are also among sacked officers.