All roads, yesterday, led to Kagarama village of Gitoki sector of Gatsibo District where the Governor of the Eastern Province, Fred Mufuruki presided over the launch of the crime free village.
Kagarama Village, according to police reports, has noted recorded any crime for the last three years, and residents attribute this to their village chief, Patrick Bimenyimana, who made sure that the government security and development programmes are interpreted, understood and well implemented by the people.
As an appreciation for the residents of Kagarama, Rwanda National Police (RNP) connected all the 153 households that constitute the village, with solar energy valued at a tune of over Rwf13 million, as a reward for their outstanding implementation of the community policing concept.
"We have government programmes to implement, and we have good leadership that guides us. All we do is listen, understand and work as a team, and that's how we have been able to make our village safe and focused," said Bimenyimana.
Bimenyimana is a respected and trusted leader in his village for his social economic efforts to develop his community and to achieve the status of a crime-free village, as currently known.
Kagarama has active community policing committees, Irondo (community night patrols), all the 609 residents are organised in clusters - with each cluster composed of 15 households; all children supposed to be in school are known, and indeed all in school; 100% covered with medical insurance; all households are organised in cooperatives and meet at least twice weekly under Umugoroba w'ababyeyi to discuss community issues.
"With such an organisation, we are able to prevent any security threat and resolve potential issues that may disturb the community peace and the social welfare of the people," adds the village chief.
As he speaks, the 41 year old father of five is repeatedly interrupted with laud cheers for his elocution and knowledge of all government development programs and current affairs.
Paul Kanamu, 63, and Muheshi sylvan, 65, attest the way their chairman has reorganized this for everyone to be responsible.
“The chairman is our son; in the village he commands loyalty and respect for his fairness and consultations in resolving rather complex community challenges” says Kanamu.
While addressing thousands of residents at the official handover of the solar home systems, the Governor of the Eastern Province, Fred Mufuruki, said that Kagarama's experience is evident that sustainable security and development is possible with good leadership.
He challenged residents never to relent as it would be an "embarrassment with the all flattery the leadership has for the community."
"This should envy neighboring communities to follow suit to make their villages safer and developed," he Governor said.
The Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIGP) in charge of Administration and Personnel, Juvenal Marizamunda said, that RNP decided to reward Kagarama to show appreciation for community efforts to embrace the community policing concept.
“We are here to commend and congratulated you for listening to leadership and police in particular, and consequently reaping the benefits of security because of your effectiveness in fighting crime in your locality” the DIGP said.
He noted that if other communities adopt the neighborhood watch method they will get positive results.
The Deputy Police Chief urged residents to save the resources previously spent on energy to invest in other ventures.
During the Police Week in June, RNP connected about 3400 households with solar home systems, countrywide, to support government community development efforts.
At least 120 households of Nyagihanga village in Nyagihanga Sector also in Gatsibo were connected.