Public urged to play a part in the fight against drug abuse

Police has called upon the public to play a central role in the fight against drug abuse, saying that the war is not a one party endeavour but a collective effort, from the grassroots to the highest administrative levels.The call was made, yesterday, during a talk show on Radio Rwanda. The show was part of a series of activities in line with the Family Campaign, organised by the Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion.
Illicit brew being distroyed by authorities in the past. Police has called for a collective effort to fight against drug abuse and trafficking. The New Times / File.
Illicit brew being distroyed by authorities in the past. Police has called for a collective effort to fight against drug abuse and trafficking. The New Times / File.

Police has called upon the public to play a central role in the fight against drug abuse, saying that the war is not a one party endeavour but a collective effort, from the grassroots to the highest administrative levels.

The call was made, yesterday, during a talk show on Radio Rwanda. The show was part of a series of activities in line with the Family Campaign, organised by the Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion.

According to police and the ministry’s officials, the use of drugs in the country is escalating thus leading to an increase in the rate of crimes.

Notable drugs used in the country include marijuana and illicit brew commonly known as Kanyanga. Others consumed at a smaller scale include cocaine originating from South America and heroine from Pakistan and Iran.

Speaking during the show, the Director of Interpol, Supt. Jean Nepo Mbonyumuvunyi, said that most of the drugs are trafficked from neighbouring countries.

“Rwanda has tried to play its part in fighting drugs and we are glad to say that there are no drugs that originate from Rwanda,” said Mbonyumuvunyi, adding that there is need to work more closely with the neighbouring countries to up the fight.

Mbonyumuvunyi said that with the help of the public, drugs use can be curtailed, hence minimising their effects.

He said that various crimes stem from the use of drugs observing that, if not effectively fought against, these would pose a serious danger to the future of the country since the youth constitute the majority of the victims.

Guillaume Serge Nzabonimana, an official with the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, called on the public to always report cases of drugs dealings since they take place within their environs.

“It is only when you report such transactions that the authorities can be able to stop them and punish the offenders,” he urged.

The head of Community Policing, Chief Superintendent, Damas Gatare, promised to introduce suggestion boxes at least in every cell to help report such activities without fear.

Statistics from the Rwanda police show that a total of 1, 547 suspects were arrested in 2010 for dealing in drugs, while 500, 000 kilogrammes of marijuana and 1.2 million litres of illicit brew were seized the same year.

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