Open letter to the Police Commissioner General

Sir First, I would like to congratulate your institution during its tenth year anniversary, in which undoubtedly it has accomplished a lot of wonderful things. However, allow me to highlight an area where you, and the forces you command, could improve for the betterment of all Rwandans.
Commissioner General of Police Emmanuel Gasana flagging off the National Police 10th anniversary celebrations.
Commissioner General of Police Emmanuel Gasana flagging off the National Police 10th anniversary celebrations.

Sir

First, I would like to congratulate your institution during its tenth year anniversary, in which undoubtedly it has accomplished a lot of wonderful things. However, allow me to highlight an area where you, and the forces you command, could improve for the betterment of all Rwandans.

For three or four months now, it seems to me that the Police have ‘informally’ issued a directive for all bars and restaurants to be closed by 10.00pm. While this may have been motivated by genuine reasons, it sends mixed signals to citizens.

First of all, everyone knows just how safe our streets are, so why are we told to close our bars? Secondly, I remember, two years ago or so, the Kigali City Council campaigned for businesses to operate 24 hours a day.
That is a contradiction. On one hand, we are told that security is guaranteed and encouraged to operate 24 hours a day. On other hand, we are obliged to close our businesses at 10.00 pm.

As a conclusion, Dear Commissioner General, I would like the National Police to consider the following:

First, if such a decision to close businesses at 10.00pm is taken, this should be communicated to all Rwandans. This would prevent unnecessary and sometimes bitter discussions between bar owners and patrons who ask them to leave without finishing their beers) and between bar owners and policemen on night patrol negotiating for an extension to the deadline.

Secondly, such informal directives are a source of corruption. I have heard from bar owners that they just give some kick-backs to policemen so that they can continue their work!

Since the Police would never think of restricting traffic to prevent road accidents it should not send people to bed early.  Finally, I hope you will make a public statement on this issue in due course.


Yves Songa
Kigali, Rwanda

isonga2005@yahoo.fr

 

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