RUBAVU— Police in Gisenyi town, Rubavu district last Sunday burnt an assortment of drugs seized in the last three months in the district.
The drugs included 390kg of marijuana and 10 consignments of chief Waragi valued at about Frw31m.
The district Mayor, Celestin Twagirayezu, explained that they burnt the materials in public in order to “increase awareness about the dangers of drugs in our society and to challenge them to join the fight against drug abuse.”
He said that the district authorities were determined to work closely with police to fight against the people who smuggle the drug into the country.
Police have previously blamed increasing crime and violence in the area on the increasing use of drugs.
The drugs are allegedly smuggled into the country from the neighboring DRC town of Goma.
“There is an increase of crime possibly related to the use of drugs. We have had violence cases, rape and recently we had a case of a young man who murdered his own nine-year old daughter,” said the district prosecutor, Victor Ntagengwa, who also witnessed the burning.
Calling on residents to report cases of drug abuse, Ntagengwa warned drug dealers of severe punishment if caught.
“We should work together to get these smugglers.
Residents should work hand in hand with the existing community policing committees in their respective cells to identify the residents involved (in such acts) because drugs are a threat to the entire population,” he said.
Residents who witnessed the burning thanked the police for the efforts in the fight against drug abuse in the area.
“My son was almost killed a few days ago by unknown thugs on his way back home. He was badly hit and his mobile phone taken from him. When I took him to the hospital, I found many similar cases,” one of the residents, Joyce Mukaminega narrated.
She decried the increasing cases of robbery in the area, saying the thugs were even torturing people for low-priced commodities like mobile phones.