The Governor of the Eastern Province, Judith Kazayire, yesterday, inaugurated ten police stations, including a District Police Unit (DPU) worth over Rwf87 million, in Gatsibo District that were constructed by residents in partnership with the district administration.
The official inauguration, held in Nyagihanga, one of the sectors that got a new police station, was also attended by the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Emmanuel K. Gasana, DIGP in charge of Administration and Personnel, Juvenal Marizamunda, among others.
The stations were constructed in a space of one year, and include offices, separate detention facilities for both males and females, a mess and accommodation for the attached officers.
Speaking to hundreds of the jubilating residents, the Governor commended them for their contribution to policing and “upholding the value of community policing.”
She noted that such ideals of citizens’ involvement and ownership continue to positively impact on the lives of the people, and serve as a base for the level of safety and security that the country continues to enjoy today.
“This is a step further towards successful development; without security there can never be development, and that’s why our servicemen and women are involved in all community works as a means to keep close to and support the people and ensure the safety in your development activities,” she said.
Before the construction of Nyagihanga Police station, for example, residents had to brave tens of kilometres to reach the nearest police station of Ngarama.
IGP Gasana, on his part, noted that such activities are rewards of good leadership and community policing in particular towards sustainable security and development.
“Your relentless efforts in constructing these police stations are highly appreciated, and demonstrate your commitment and patriotism for the good of our country,” said the Police chief.
He went on to say that policing can only be successful where there is close partnership with the people.
“Let’s create a strong partnership that is built on information sharing. Security starts with you by protecting yourself, feeling protected and protecting your neighbours,” IGP said.
To successfully implement their idea of constructing the police stations, residents constituted a committee of five people to oversee timely construction of the facilities.
Hussein Mpagazehe, the head of the committee, said: “When the idea of constructing the police station of Nyagihanga came up, it was also embraced by other sectors and it became a project for all the residents of Gatsibo.”
“It started with a pledge of 44,000 bricks, a truck to use during the construction works, 30 bags of cement and many other construction materials. It gained momentum and support from all residents and the district administration,” Mpagazehe added.
The support included manpower through Umuganda.
The Mayor of Gatsibo, Richard Gasana said that of the 14 sectors in his district, 10 have police stations.
“Our intention is to have all the sectors have a police station and quarters for officers before the end of this year,” said Gasana.
“We have seen crimes going down tremendously in the last one year and attribute this to the decentralisation of the police services.
Other constructed Police stations
In January last year, residents of Rusebeya Sector with support from the district of Rutsiro constructed a police station, worth Rwf27.5 million. About Rwf20 million was a contribution from Rusebeya residents and Rwf7.5 million by the district under the framework of their community policing.
Later in June, residents of Gisozi and Gikomero sectors in Gasabo District also constructed fully-fledged Police stations as part of community policing initiatives to support security activities in the area.
The Gisozi police station, valued at Rwf23 million, includes offices, a detention facility, mess, and accommodation for the attached officers, and is fully connected with Internet.
Gisozi and Gikomero were the only sectors in Gasabo, which had no Police station. Gasabo is composed of 15 sectors.
The whole idea of establishing at least one police station in each of the 416 sectors across the country is part of the plan to take service closer to the people and to ensure provision of quality service.