RWAMAGANA - The Governor of Eastern Province, Dr. Ephraim Kabaija has castigated rampant smuggling reported at different porous borders in the province.
He was on Monday speaking at a provincial security meeting in Rwamagana. Calling for more measures to combat smuggling, Kabaija said any leader or security person involved in smuggling should be severely punished.
The governor expressed concern that some Kigali businesspersons were buying their products from the Eastern Province.
“Kayonza has no single industry, but ironically it supplies various items to Kigali businesspersons on wholesale…,” he said.
Richard Dada, Rwanda Revenue Authority (RAA) Deputy Commissioner for Small and Medium Taxpayers officer, called for tough punishment against smugglers.
“There is need for heavy punishment to curb smuggling…I will push for punishment to be meted out, from where the crime is committed and not necessarily sent to Kigali,” he said.
Louis Rwagaju, the Mayor of Bugesera district called for more vigilance at porous borders to curb the crime.
He said that Bugesera district has 5 sectors bordering Burundi.
“We need cooperation from all stakeholders. Our borders are porous and at some points there are water bodies that are not closely monitored. This is what makes curbing smuggling difficult,” he said.
Districts in the province most affected by smuggling include Bugesera, Kayonza, Ngoma and Kirehe. The four districts share border lines with Burundi, Uganda and Tanzania.