The Minister for Justice, Johnston Busingye, has stressed the need to use citizens’ forums (inteko y’abaturage) and mediators (abunzi) to address community issues such as domestic conflicts and drug abuse, which he said are a burden to the country.
During a tour of Kamembe sector in Rusizi District this week, the minister and local mediators discussed strategies to end the vices he said present one of the biggest challenges to development.
The meeting described peaceful families as an engine of development.
He told the mediators that when they help address residents’ issues amicably it saves time and money that could have been wasted in courts.
“Drug abuse cannot be tolerated as it’s a major cause of other crimes such as domestic violence.
“The effects of drug abuse and violence are a burden to every Rwandan and the country, and that is why it is everyone’s responsibility to fight it,” Busingye said.
He urged residents not to give in to crime, saying the consequences are dire.
He also urged local leaders to be close to the people so as to understand their challenges.
“As leaders we should be flexible. We should be able to address problems that we can solve because they hamper development,” Busingye said.
Manasseh Nsengiyumva, a resident, said citizens’ forum has been useful to them because challenges such as property-related wrangles are discussed and resolved amicably.
Susan Mariyana, another resident, also said the forums help them get justice, while a one Charles Nsabimana commended mediators for resolving conflicts among residents.