Rwamagana -The Mayor of Rwamagana District, Neheme Uwimana, wants local leaders who fail to combat the sale and brewing of illicit liquor (Kanyanga) in rural communities to be regarded as accomplices.
Addressing an extraordinary meeting of grassroots leaders, the Mayor said he was wary when local leaders who are supposed to report irresponsible drinking and drug abuse fail to do so.
“Any leader, who will not work out modalities to end production and sale of illicit alcohol, will be regarded as an accomplice. I have never seen any local leader reporting cases of ‘Kanyanga’...it is only residents who volunteer,” he said.
The Mayor further decried child abuse and rape cases particularly attributed to drug and alcohol abuse.
“Rwamagana ranks number one in child abuse in the (Eastern) Province. We have recorded 28 cases of rape. This is a big shame! It is again the leaders to blame, the environment you allow to prevail paves way for rape,” he said.
A local leader from Karenge Sector, Felicien Ntuyembarusha, pointed out that in some areas, people drink from sunrise to sunset, indicating that some have even abandoned agricultural activities.
He called on the government to set up police posts in areas well known for heavy drinking and drug abuse.
“Bihembe Village, for example, has become unruly and local leaders can’t do much. Local Defence Officers are corrupt; they are given money and let illicit alcohol brewers go scot-free,” he observed.
Alex Kanamugire, a local leader in Gahengeri Sector, however, had a different opinion, saying that some conflicts were exacerbated by people’s ignorance and a long divorce process.
He pointed out that whenever couples get into conflict, they are not aware of the divorce option and resort to murder.
“Long lasting family feuds lead to death of either of the couple...families must be followed closely. Courts must also be ready to let such couples divorce before they kill each other,” he said.