Illicit brew distillery discovered in Bugesera

BUGESERA - Security operatives in Bugesera District yesterday discovered a plant distilling local illegal brew, commonly known as Kanyanga.The plant unearthed in Mirambi Village, Rurima Sector, was owned by Febronia Muhirwa, who is also the village chief.Muhirwa,a  mother of four, was arrested together with Antoine Habimana, a local businessman, who supplied her with sugarcane residue locally used as cattle feeds.
Habimana and Muhirwa (R) after they were arrested yesterday in Bugesera.
Habimana and Muhirwa (R) after they were arrested yesterday in Bugesera.

BUGESERA - Security operatives in Bugesera District yesterday discovered a plant distilling local illegal brew, commonly known as Kanyanga.

The plant unearthed in Mirambi Village, Rurima Sector, was owned by Febronia Muhirwa, who is also the village chief.

Muhirwa,a  mother of four, was arrested together with Antoine Habimana, a local businessman, who supplied her with sugarcane residue locally used as cattle feeds.

Police and district authorities, who visited the area, also confiscated drums that were being used to distil the illegal brew.

Kanyanga is illegal in Rwanda, of which upon conviction, one faces a sentence of between three months and five years or a fine of Rwf250,000 or both.

The area is said to be one of the most insecure places in the district, with two deaths registered in the last one month.

Residents in the area appealed to the police to open a police post in the area to deal with the threats, which they said, include theft.

The Regional Police Commander, Eastern province, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Sam Karemera, promised the residents that a police post would soon be established in the area, but urged them to work with authorities to fight against such acts.

The district Mayor, Louis Rwagaju, noted that the district has already identified all those dealing in the illegal brew, and explained that operations are underway to arrest them.

"We have been registering such cases in this area and other parts of the district. We have already identified all those involved and it's just a matter of time (to arrest them)," Rwagaju told hundreds of residents who had gathered at the scene.

Muhirwa told journalists that she has been distilling Kanyanga for the last three months.

"Instead of going to steal, I decided to deal in Kanyanga business which is profitable, though I also knew that it's illegal," Muhirwa said.

Habimana, however, explained that he did not know that molasses, which he was dealing in was being used to distil the illegal brew.

"I did not know that my customers were using them to distil Kanyanga. I beg to be forgiven," Habimana told local leaders.

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