House break-ins, livestock theft, crop theft, drug abuse, alcoholism, prostitution and high level of idleness are taking grip of communities in the 14 sectors of Gatsibo district in eastern province.
According to the local government data, Gatsibo district hosts more than 530,907 people settled in 14 Sectors including: Gasange, Gatsibo, Gitoki, Kabarore, Kageyo, Kiramuruzi, Kiziguro, Muhura, Murambi, Ngarama, Nyagihanga, Remera, Rugarama and Rwimbogo.
Every home has to keep watching out for any suspicious persons passing by especially a growing number of street children that have rejected school and resorted to robbery, pick pocketing and intruding into homes to grab anything to sell.
‘My bicycle was this morning removed from the veranda and taken. Some people have told me they saw a teenage boy riding it loaded with empty crates of beer,’ Gervais Nizeyimana a resident of Kiziguro sector told Taarifa.
In the same localty, another shop operator Donatta Uwamwezi received a phone call from a friend on wednesday telling her that her liquor shop had been broken into and all products stolen.
“The thieves were arrested but some have since disappeared. The situation is not good, we need support from Police and other security agencies,” said Rudoviko Munyaneza a local leader of Bidudu village, Ndatemwa cell.
According to Moise Rusagara a local leader Akamamesa village, in Kiziguro sector, several owners of banana plantations have reported cases of theft of their bananas. ‘We know these suspects but it is very hard to capture them red-handed but we are vigilant,’ he told Taarifa.
However, there are concerns of non effective Night Patrols commonly known as “Irondo ry’Umwuga” in most of these 14 sectors of the district as most incidents occur under the cover of darkness.
Under the Irondo or Night Patrols, males in every village willingly contribute to keeping their neighbourhoods secure. Every home is required to contribute at least Rwf1000 monthly as part of contribution to salaries of the patrollers. However, the growing levels of theft during nigh hours has prompted some people to reject the cash contributions.
Poor neighbourhoods have struggled to provide enough means while in some areas, coordination by local leaders has effectively contributed to raising much resource and provide needed technologies to patrollers. Importantly, professional night patrollers closely collaborate with public security agencies, mainly the Rwanda National Police, which ensures capacity building of patrollers.
In this part of the country, village leaders complain that Police take long hours to intervene when called in. ‘Police tell us they have one pick-up truck to serve near 4 sectors thus sometimes suspects escape from us after long hours waiting for Police,’ says Moise.
According to Rudoviko and Moise, they suggest that at least government deploys Rwanda Investigative Bureau detectives in most of these areas to help detect, prevent crime and apprehend law breakers.