A week hardly goes by without media reports about Police intercepting or destroying large quantities of illicit brew. The most recent, was in Gatsibo district where the police, on Tuesday, destroyed illegal alcohol worth over Rwf 15million.
While the intercepted alcohol is always destroyed, such reports have simply become monotonous. The Police should come up with a lasting solution or a more decisive and deterrent strategy than, merely destroying the alcohol, since it does not seem to work at all. And, only last week, this newspaper carried a story about a Musanze trader, arrested for the second time, after she was caught with illicit brew smuggled from Uganda.
The business may be lucrative, but the effects on the health of the Rwandan people and societal stability are too grave to tolerate the sale and consumption of the alcohol. Cases of domestic violence, rape, defilement and child neglect are reasonably high in areas where the illicit alcohol is in abundance.
The Police should, therefore, consider more stringent strategies to bring this trade to a definite end. They should, continuously, conduct mass sensitization campaigns to raise awareness about the dangers of illicit alcohol.
Once the people understand how dangerous the illegal brew is to their health and society, they will partner with the Police and local leaders, to collectively stamp out the trade.
Otherwise, the strategies so far used have not worked and it’s high time that new and effective measures were devised.