17 May 2018

Rwanda: Officials - A Crime-Free Village is Achievable

Different leaders have expressed optimism that having "crime-free" villages is a realistic target.

This was announced Tuesday during the launch of the community outreach exercise by Rwanda National Police, under the theme, "18 Years of Partnership in Policing: Towards a Crime-Free Village".

As part of the Police Week campaign, each district selected one "crime-free village" to be rewarded by police with an office, furniture, a TV set, and a solar system to benefit the residents.

The project, according to police, will cost more than Rwf600 million.

During the Police Week launch in Eastern Province, officials announced it is possible to have every single village successfully preventing crime.

This was said after the recognition of the residents of Rwamugurusu Village, in Bwana cell of Munyiginya Sector, Rwamagana District for achieving a crime-free village.

"It is achievable to have all villages in Rwanda free of crime, to have peace and security," said Emmanuel K. Gasana, Inspector General of Police, challenging residents to fully participate in the process so that it does not remain a dream.

Gasana emphasised that only community-police partnership can make that happen.

Cyriaque Harelimana, the Minister of State in charge of Socio-Economic Development, said that the village level is where leadership begins. According to him, if it is possible at grassroots level, it will be as well at the national level.

Alongside Rwamugurusu Village, Rwamagana District also boasts three more "crime-free villages", namely Nyarucyamo, Kabonero and Mpinga.

"This is going to be an example to other villages; next time we hope to have many more crime-free villages," said Rwamagana mayor, Rajab Mbonyumuvunyi.

"Instead of being preoccuppied with national security, with security issues, having crime-free villages will allow police to come and help us in development activities, since we saw that when we help them with safety, they also lend a hand whenever we need them," said Mbonyumuvunyi.

But how can that happen?

Maurice Irivuzumugabe, the leader of Rwamugurusu Village, said his village was successful in preventing crime because residents are focused farmers, mostly aiming at their own development.

According to him, the village leadership meets with residents as often as possible where the latter are encouraged to shun drugs.

"With different programmes in our village, when one family has a conflict, we visit them and sit in their own house to discuss the way forward. Most of these domestic conflicts are resolved amicably in the living rooms," he said.

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