A consignment of drugs, including marijuana and a variety of illicit brew, worth Rwf19.1 million was on Wednesday destroyed as part of the efforts to stop the making, trade and consumption of narcotics in the country. Nyanza District residents joined security and local leaders in the exercise.
The destroyed drugs include more than 3,500 litres of Kanyanga, a local gin, 168 bottles of African gin, 86 packages of Chief waragi and about 320 kilogrammes of cannabis. They also included 1,400 plastic bags that are banned on the local market due to their negative impact on the environment.
The drugs were seized in various parts of Southern Province over the last few months. Inspector General of Police Emmanuel Gasana called on residents to denounce individuals involved in the manufacture, trade or consumption of narcotics. "Let's join hands to fight drugs within our community," IGP Gasana said.
Police spokesperson Damas Gatare said the destruction of narcotics sends a message to residents that everyone has a role to play in the fight against the drugs. He added that is was an opportunity to sensitise the public on the dangers of drug abuse.
"Drug abuse not only is among the major causes of crimes within society, but also affects lives and undermines development," Gatare said. He also asked parents to protect their children from engaging in drug abuse and related crimes.
Southern Province Governor Alphonse Munyantwari said the fight against illegal drugs is a responsibility of all, adding that the cooperation is critical to ensure that no more drugs are sent within the community.
"It is about saving people who would put their lives in danger by consuming such narcotics. It is also about saving those who would subsequently indulge in illegal activities (as a result of drug abuse)," Munyantwari said. Meanwhile, Police signed a Memorandum of Understanding with leaders of six districts in the province to bolster the existing cooperation in crime prevention.
The MoU was signed between the IGP and the mayors of Kamonyi, Muhanga, Ruhango, Nyaruguru, Gisagara and Nyamagabe districts.
Such agreements already existed between the Force and Huye and Nyanza district.
The MoU also plans for collaboration in the areas of community works (Umuganda), environment protection, tree planting and the promotion of hygiene, Gatare said.