KAYONZA — Dr. Ephraim Kabayija the governor of the Eastern Province, has issued a stern warning to drug users saying they would be charged.
“You should repent the sin of taking drugs. This crime could be equated to any other crime against humanity. If you do not repent and you are caught with these toxic drugs, there will be no mercy but you will face the long arm of the law,” Dr. Kabayija said.
He was addressing scores of of Kayonza residents who had gathered at Kabarondo Sector headquarters to witness the burning of the recently confiscated toxic drugs.
Some of the toxic drugs that were burnt during the event included 1000 liters of local gin commonly known as Kanyanga, 400 expired tablets and 52 Kgs of marijuana.
Quoting from the Bible, governor Kabayija told the youths who had been caught red-handed in the act of selling the drugs, that repentance saves oneself.
He explained that two sinners who were hanged on the cross alongside Jesus asked for forgiveness, and the faith of the repentant sinner saved him. During his address, he halted in his speech, and invited the pastors who were present to pray for sinners.
The governor implored local leaders including Mayors of all districts, executive secretaries of all Sectors and cell Coordinators to immediately deal with people abusing drugs. He noted that development will then take root.
Stephen Muhayirwe, the Chief Prosecutor Ngoma, Kirehe, Kayonza and Rwamagana districts briefed residents about the law and punitive measures for drug users, producers and or importers.
Quoting Art 272 of Rwanda’s penal code, Muhayirwe said it is prohibited to produce, to sell, to buy and to take toxic drugs in the country.
Article 273 of Rwanda’s penal code, stipulates three to five years imprisonment and or to pay a fine of not more than Frw250,000 for a person found guilty of selling, buying or using illegal drugs, the prosecutor said.
He noted however, that the same article stipulates double punishment for producers and importers of the drugs. In essence one can be imprisoned for 10 years.
The executive secretary of Remera in Ngoma suggested that photos of drug users be pinned on public notice boards as a punitive measure.
The governor blamed crimes especially domestic violence on drugs, and called on religious leaders to play a big role in curbing the vice by preaching against it.