One evening, two weeks ago, Isaa Imanishimwe, a 21-year-old helper at a residential home in Kicukiro was on his way to buy milk at a nearby dairy, when he got kidnapped.
He says that as he walked past a dark corner, he found a car parked and nothing seemed strange about it as he had used that route for the two months he had been working in that neighbourhood.
“I was called by the three men in the car who said they needed directions. I went close to the car to help them just like any other normal person would have done,” he said.
But to his dismay they pulled him into the car and held his mouth and drove to a place he didn’t know. They demanded that he gives them all he had at the time. He tried to plead and show them that he had nothing to give besides his old phone, milk money and the clothes he wore.
“One of the men said they should kill me as I had identified their faces, but the other disagreed and said they should just let me go. The men had no masks or weapons but they were quite well built and strong,” Imanishimwe said. “They let me go but all I could recognise was that they were in a black corona.
Imanishimwe said he ran for his life after they released him as he was afraid they might change their minds. “I was so grateful that they didn’t hurt me,” he said.
Albert Muhebwa, a Kicukiro resident who owns a shop close to the place, confirmed that Imanishimwe was attacked and said this was a strange occurrence and had never happened before.
“These men took advantage of this place as a safe and secure route even though it’s a little bit dark. But we are all on watch now and we make sure we take keen notice of the people whose faces are not familiar and are lurking around at night,” he said.
According to Superintendent Theos Badege, Rwanda National Police Spokesman, kidnapping cases are very rare but in case something of the sort happens, people should report to the nearest authorities available but most especially to Police Stations.
“Two of the kidnapping crimes this year have been fake, just people using kidnapping as an excuse to hide something from someone or refuse to pay their debts.
“But when it happens, we usually investigate, employ all possible means to get the culprit and follow the normal constitutional procedures,” Badege said.
Jean D’ Dieau Ndoli the head of night patrol at Niboye, Kicukiro District, says the major problem the security team faces with tackling such instances is that people don’t report these cases.
“We would work better and faster with people if they spoke out immediately, but they usually wait for a week or two before we actually get to know about it as a rumour,” the head of night security said.
Regarding Imanishimwe’s kidnap, Ndoli said it was the first of its kind in the area.
“We haven’t had such a case before though. And we hope it’s the last one and that the people that did it are not from here,” he said as he urged the locals to be alert and co-operate with the security team to deal with such incidents.
Police Spokesperson Badege encouraged Rwandans to understand that as far as crime reporting is concerned there should be no compromise and a crime should be reported as soon as possible to make the police’s work easy.