Nyagatare — The Governor of Eastern Province, Odette Uwamariya, has unveiled social, political and economic district development plans for 2013.
In the plan, the governor's focal points include infrastructure development, increasing agricultural productivity, reducing drug and child abuse, and maintaining security in communities.
Addressing hundreds of grassroots leaders in Nyagatare town on Thursday, Uwamariya said it was important that districts begin the New Year with specific targets.
She said issues to do with security right from individual, family, village, sector to district levels must be addressed.
"Illicit alcohol (locally known as Kanyanga), drugs, smugglers and such things affect our general security and must stop forthwith," she said.
"We are beginning a new year; people must keep away from rumours spread by bankrupt individuals and stick to hard work. It is lamentable that there are some people out to disorganise innocent residents," she added.
The governor said long term issues of road safety and drugs in remote villages have to be addressed expeditiously.
She also noted that express taxis plying the Kigali-Nyagatare route were notorious for violating traffic regulations.
"Drivers take advantage of absence of traffic police in remote areas to abuse traffic rules ... motorcycles carrying more than one person and without licenses and the like, these are not acceptable," she said.
Uwamariya said food security was well beyond target, adding that only one district in the province faced hunger threat.
"We did well in food security; we are actually above target. It is only the district of Kayonza that was affected by drought. But, of course, it is surrounded by food-rich districts such as Kirehe, Ngoma, Gatsibo and Rwamagana," she said.
Residents, however, blamed authorities for handling criminals with kid-gloves, saying many suspects are let scot-free.
Ambrose Kayinamura, a resident of Rwempasha, said deterrent punishments are needed to check criminality.
"When we arrest suspects in one of the said crimes, police and courts let them free in a few days, so unless stringent measures are taken, crime will remain. In fact, the culprits are always the same," he said.