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Tech enthusiast on creating platform to trace sexual offenders

Vedaste Bagirishya during the interview at The New Times. / Photo: Courtesy

When Vedaste Bagirishya heard the horrendous stories about his neighbours’ sexual violence and rape ordeals, he realised that it needed to be addressed. 

Often, when he would go home to Gatsibo for academic breaks, the 26-year-old would be informed of the teen mothers, some of whom he knew.

 

“I met some of the teen mothers. Surprisingly, many of the rapists were not arrested for different reasons,” he says.

 

Over 78,000 babies were born to teen mothers in the last four years making teen pregnancy a pressing issue in Rwanda. 

 

Because of this, the IT enthusiast decided to create a platform called “Abanganvu”.

The system enables people to lodge claims and rape cases through the platform, which can then be reviewed by concerned officials.

According to Bagirishya, his idea is to save the nation’s girls by ensuring all sexual offenders are apprehended and brought to justice.

He was invited by Gatsibo District and security organs to present his platform and work out how to partner with them.

The initiative was hailed by the mayor of his home district, Richard Gasana, who says that it is a good initiative to support teens in the district, and the country at large.

“It will be a good initiative if it works out, we want all Rwandans to address this issue of teen pregnancy. If it is an issue affecting the youth, we are happy that it is being addressed by the youth,” the mayor told People. 

How it works

Normally, the filing of a rape case requires the partnership of Rwanda Investigation Bureau and Isange One Stop Centre.

To get a case filed to RIB, you first need an Isange One Stop Centre certificate, which the platform is coming to change.

“After the case is filed, it will be accessed by both institutions and it will take less time to file a case so that the criminals are apprehended before they escape,” says the developer.

In some instances, Bagirishya says, a criminal may escape, but they will have a way to trace them using this app.

Advanced tracing, he adds, will be done using the offender’s phone and account information. 

“Even if they change the phone number, we will use their account information. As long as one withdraws, we immediately track the transaction,” he explains.

The young developer says he has pitched the initiative to Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion (MIGEPROF), RIB and other institutions who have all welcomed the initiative.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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