We should not take Police for granted

Editor, Recently, my colleague’s Samsung Galaxy S4 was stolen. He looked helpless and bought a small handset for temporary use. It was a dreadful experience. He had lost all his contacts and other valuable information kept on the gadget.
A police officer checks a vehicle during routine vehicle inspections. File
A police officer checks a vehicle during routine vehicle inspections. File

Editor,

Recently, my colleague’s Samsung Galaxy S4 was stolen. He looked helpless and bought a small handset for temporary use. It was a dreadful experience. He had lost all his contacts and other valuable information kept on the gadget.

I advised him to report the case to Police, but to my surprise, he didn’t seem convinced Police would help. Well, I know his perception is common amongst many Rwandans. But I admired the way he was proven wrong.

An officer from the CID took on the case, went to the respective telecom, declared the stolen phone and managed to gather info on who was using it. He called us to pick the “info” and present it to our nearby Police Station. The commander at the station assigned an officer to track down the phone. The officer asked us to go back to our duties and promised to call back later after the operation. He called us back the next day to his Kimironko office. He handed the phone back to us. End of story.

Now, whatever resources he used, the time, and so on, we did not incur any cost at all.  But most importantly the officer did not ask for a bribe as is commonly synonymous with Police officers in EAC, considering he had helped us recover a property worth US$1,000.

The officer is actually a corporal and I think that his salary isn’t that big. For a person like me, who has experienced harassment from Tanzanian, Kenyan and Ugandan Police officers since I was a teenager, this encounter made me conclude we Rwandans take our Police for granted.

My colleague finally conceded. We know it is the officer’s duty, but we thank him so much. Of course the Inspector General of Police, Emmanuel Gasana, takes credit for nurturing a professional force that all the citizens of Rwanda should be proud of.

Magnus Mazimpaka, Rwanda

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