Gicumbi District authorities have vowed to mount an intensive crackdown on the sale and consumption of illegal liquor in the district.
According to police, the number of crimes attributed to the use of illegal alcohol is alarming, which calls for immediate intervention right from the grassroots level.
Evariste Gatera, the District Police Commander, disclosed that in of May and June, police registered 28 cases related to drug abuse, making it the highest in the Northern Province.
“Most of the cases we registered including theft, defilement and other forms of misconduct were all attributed to illegal drinking of illicit brew and drugs,” Gatera said.
In the two months, over 1,400 litres of illicit liquor locally known as Kanyanga was intercepted.
According to the police, some local leaders have a hand in the illegal practices, warning that they would be dealt accordingly.
“If all the local authorities intervene in fighting these practices, these crimes will be prevented but the problem there has been reluctance among them,” Gatera noted.
According to Mayor Bonane Nyangezi, local leaders are to embark on strengthening security, which he said is the number one factor that leads to the development among the communities.
“Security is the first priority in the communities, you can’t register any development if people engage more in excessive drinking of contraband and resort to committing crimes,” said Nyangenzi.
However, some local authority officials raised issue with the release of suspects of related crimes on unknown grounds saying they continue to threaten the whistle blowers.
“It is so annoying to see the people you reported walking freely on the streets two days after they are arrested and this discourages the whistleblowers,” said one village leader.