Rwanda Focus (Kigali)

13 November 2012

Rwanda National Police Interacts With Media Practitioners

The Inspector General of Police Emmanuel Gasana has said the media is an emerging tool, that has a policing leverage of influence towards driving change.

According to IGP Gasana, there is need for the media and the police to co-exist.

He was speaking at a meeting between media practitioners and the police on how to improve the working relationship between the two bodies yesterday.

IGP Gasana recognized that the media-police relationship has not been on its best during the past year.

"Our relationship with the media has not been 'good' in the past, but now we want to improve it. We will be giving you homeland security situation updates and other information on the policing situation. We know that media is a powerful tool to pivot policing, in that way, it will increase our crime prevention capacity and effectiveness," he said. "We want to build with you a relationship based on a mutual understanding and trust. We want you to have confidence in us as partners mandated to enforce the law and we know with you power, you can help us succeed, by reminding us where we have gone beyond the line and by tipping us on some of the security issues we might still ignore. You are our partners in the security pursuit, and with that collective security concept we drive together our national development agenda."

Present at the meeting, the executive secretary of the Media High Council, Emmanuel Mugisha commended the step taken by RNP towards building a mutual trust-based relationship with the media.

"This is a good step towards. From now, media practitioners will no longer see police officers as an 'enemy' preventing them from getting the information, but a partner with whom the access to information is enforced."

He, however, requested the media practitioners to always be equipped with the press identification so that they can be easily recognized.

RNP agreed with the media that from now, information from its offices or concerns countrywide will be easily accessible with the announcement that each province now has a police spokesperson.

"Of course don't expect us to share some confidential information or national security classified issues. Especially for crimes under investigation," said Superintendent Theos Badege, RNP's spokesperson.

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