Rwanda National Police (RNP) has condemned people who take matters into their own hands against suspected criminals, calling it “criminal” and warning of appropriate legal action against such individuals.
The warning follows a recent incident in Nyamagabe District where two men allegedly lynched a man whom they accused of theft.
The incident occurred on Monday in Kagano Cell of Kitabi Sector when, at about 6am, Jean Nsanzimana, 21, and Theoneste Hakorineza, 29, allegedly assaulted one Vuganeza Misigaro alias Kayabo, who succumbed to injuries as he was being taken to the hospital by residents.
Nsanzimana and Hakorineza, who have since been arrested, had accused Misigaro of stealing bananas from their plantation.
“If someone is suspected of a crime, the public should allow justice to take its course because taking matters in your own hands is interfering with justice, which is a crime itself and punishable by the law,” said Andre Hakizimana, Police spokesperson for Western Province.
“The role of community policing is to share information on any unlawful act, and since these two suspected the deceased to be involved in criminal acts, they should have shared information in real time or even apprehend and handed him over to the police for appropriate action,” Hakizimana added.
“Theft, for example, is a crime punishable with an imprisonment of six months to two years, but their action attracts a term of imprisonment of between ten and 15 years under Article 151 of the Penal Code [upon conviction]… that’s the consequence of taking the law in your own hands.”