Police launch anti-drug abuse drive in Kirehe

Rwanda National Police (RNP) yesterday launched an anti-drug campaign in Kirehe District, as part of efforts to stem drug abuse.
IGP Emmanuel Gasana addresses the youth in Kirehe District. (Stephen Rwembeho)
IGP Emmanuel Gasana addresses the youth in Kirehe District. (Stephen Rwembeho)

Rwanda National Police (RNP) yesterday launched an anti-drug campaign in Kirehe District, as part of efforts to stem drug abuse.

The launch followed a three-day operation targeting cannabis dealers in the area. It was held under the theme: “Turning Back Drugs to Protect the Youth.”

The launch, that attracted hundreds of area residents, students and local leaders, featured testimonies from reformed drug dealers.

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Hundreds of of students and residents walk along Nyakarambi streets to denounce drugs. (Stephen Rwembeho)

At least 74 per cent of narcotics trafficked into Rwanda pass through Kirehe District, according to Police.

The Inspector General of Police, Emmanuel K. Gasana, urged reformed individuals to spread the gospel against narcotics in every corner of Rwanda.

“The war against drug abuse requires concerted effort and partnership with Police,” he said.

He commended Kirehe residents for working hard to ensure that national development programmes benefit all.

Damien Nsengimana, 43, a former drug dealer in the area, said he has since turned to piggery and farming.

“I traded in drugs until Police arrested me in 2005. I had the illusion that selling drugs would make me rich,” Nsengimana said, adding that the drugs instead brought him misery.

“Drugs isolated me from my wife, children and friends. I could not heed to any advice, not even when my wife threatened to divorce,” he said.

Nsengimana said that his arrest and eventual imprisonment came as a blessing in disguise because it was while in prison that he reformed.

“I had time to reflect on my past and came to a conclusion that I was living a reckless life. When I was released, I apologised to my family and decided to become a law-abiding citizen,” Nsengimana said.

The campaign, which started in Kirehe, will also be extended to other parts of the country. Prior to the official launch of the campaign, officers with sniffer dogs conducted an operation in which a number of people were arrested including 19-year-old Jean Claude Munyeshyaka, who was arrested yesterday morning en route to Kigali with eight kilogrammes of cannabis.

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