Five drug dealers who were arrested at different moments last week, have apologized after they were paraded before the public by the Rwanda National Police in Nyagatare District, pleading never to engage in drugs again.
The culprits admitted having engaged in trading drugs, taking different drugs and illicit drinks from Uganda.
They confessed that they sold drugs for livelihood.
They apologized during an event held in Rwimiyaga Sector of Nyagatare District where Police and local leaders burnt confiscated illicit drugs worth Rwf 2.6 million.
Handcuffed, Protogene Munyaneza said that he used to sell drugs which he brought from Uganda.
“I ask for forgiveness for having got involved in selling drugs. I promise never to sell drugs again,” he said.
“I apologize for selling drugs and I commit to never engage in drugs trade and will share information on time whenever I see drugs,” said Emmanuel Hakizimana, a former drug dealer residing in Rwimiyaga Sector.
Nyagatare District borders with Uganda and Tanzania.
District officials say Rwimiyaga Sector is the most affected by drug trafficking and abuse.
The Nyagatare Ditrict Police Commander, SP Pierre Tebuka said that, “All people we arrest in drug dealing get them from neighboring countries. We ask the people for rapid information sharing to Police when they suspect someone in drugs.”
“These drugs are destroying our youth’s future, economy and order of the country,” he said.
“The most saddening is that those selling drugs are the young people who abandon schools and spend nights and days looking for drugs in neighboring countries. They come and sell them to their fellow youths that it is difficult to find a varsity graduate in this sector due to the drug abuse,” he added.
After apologizing publicly, SP Tebuka announced the five drug dealers would be released soon.
He warned the other drug dealers saying that they are already known and mentioned the secret code names they use and said “we will never forgive everyone else we catch in drug dealing.’’
During the 15th National Dialogue, last year, President Kagame said that the fight against drug abuse is very urgent than ever before because it has become a worrying concern not only in Rwanda but in the whole world.
He said the abuse is high among the youth and can destroy the country’s future.
“When you send a child to school, you pray that he returns home safely but the issue is no longer among the children only,” he said.
“There is absolutely nothing good in associating with drugs. You have to say I am not doing drugs but neither should my friend, my relative. You make it your responsibility,” Kagame said as he addressed thousands youths at ‘Meet The President’ event held at Intare Arena Conference Arena, in August this year.
“If you see a friend or relative take this route, why don’t you stand up and tell your friend, it is not just that it is bad, it is killing you, our family and our country. The family needs you, the country needs you,” he advised.
The 2018 World Drug Report indicates that some 31 million of people who use drugs suffer from drug use disorders, meaning that their drug use is harmful to the point where they may need treatment.
According to this report, initial estimations suggest that, globally, 13.8 million young people aged 15–16 years used cannabis- which is among the most popular drugs used by the youth in Rwanda- in 2017, equivalent to a rate of 5.6 per cent.
Roughly 450,000 people died as a result of drug use in 2015, according to the World Health Organization.