Campaign against drug abuse taken to Eastern Province

The nationwide campaign to fight and prevent trafficking, sell and use of illicit drugs continued to Kirehe District, yesterday, one of the major transit routes used by traffickers.
Minister Francis Kaboneka addressing residents of Kirehe where arrested drug dealers were also paraded. / Courtesy
Minister Francis Kaboneka addressing residents of Kirehe where arrested drug dealers were also paraded. / Courtesy

The nationwide campaign to fight and prevent trafficking, sell and use of illicit drugs continued to Kirehe District, yesterday, one of the major transit routes used by traffickers.

Thousands of Kirehe residents converged in Gatore Sector as senior government and law enforcement officials reiterated the call for ownership of the campaign to make the district impenetrable for drug peddlers.

At least illicit drugs worth about Rwf25 million including one ton of cannabis and 10, 000 litres of illicit brew, have been seized in Kirehe in the past six months.

The psychotic substances were destroyed during the exercise presided over by the ministers; Francis Kaboneka of Local Government and Rosemary Mbabazi of Youth as well as senior officers in Rwanda National Police (RNP) and Rwanda Defence Force (RDF).

“We cannot allow seeing Kirehe being used by criminals as a getaway for narcotics from across borders to poison the people; it’s a criminal business that the country will continue fighting to save our people especially the youth. We are here to call for your cooperation and ownership to fight drug dealers,” Minister Kaboneka said.

“It is high time you stand up to put an end on drug abuse. It is your duty to overcome this challenge and contribute significantly to the socio-economic development of our country,” he added.

He asked parents to take a primary responsibility to protect their children from drug abuse and ensure they are well brought up, taken to school and nurtured into competent citizens relevant to drive the development agenda of their country.

Minister Mbabazi, on her part, commended the collective efforts of both government institutions and members of the general public in the fight against drug abuse.

“We cannot expect sustainable security and development while some people especially the youth are being ruined by drugs, we have to stand up against this criminal activity through sharing information with law enforcement agencies to ensure those involves are arrested,” she added.

RNP spokesperson, Commissioner of Police Theos Badege, said: “Consumption or sale of illicit drugs is not only a crime but has other ill effects on human health and Police won't tolerate anyone dealing in these substances.”

Drug-related crimes are still rated him in the country, with the youth both majority involved and affected.

Last year alone, about 18 percent of all the 4470 crimes recorded by the police, are related to narcotic drugs.

About 71 percent of over 4100 drug dealers arrested last year were also aged between 18 and and 35.

The Ministries of Health, Local Government and Youth as well as security organs are currently engaged in a countrywide campaign to bring different groups on board to break both the market and chains of supply.

Faith-based organizations, owners of hospitality facilities as well as different youth groups, former drug dealers and grassroots leaders are among those that have so far come on board to decisively combat the vice.

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