Rwanda has remained the safest country to live in in Africa as crime rates dropped 5.6 percent lower between January and June this year, following the report presented by Rwanda’s Minister of Internal Security Sheikh Musa Fazil Harelimana.
The Gallup poll “Global States of Mind”2012 listed Rwanda among countries where citizens are most likely to feel safe at 92%.
Gallup poll conducts its research in more than 150 countries, where typically 1,000 adults are surveyed in each country at least once a year, using a standard set of core questions that Gallup translates into the major languages of the respective country.
During presentation in Kigali on July 8, 2014, Harelimana said 7590 cases of crimes were registered in the past six months, down from 8026 recorded between July and December last year.
He attributed the reduction to stringent measures initiated by the RNP in partnership with the public through community policing to report security threats, leading to prevention.
Harelimana outlined assault, drug abuse and theft as some of the major crimes registered in these six months.
Road accidents, he said, also reduced by 43.8 percent to 1324 cases down from 2356 cases recorded in previous period, which also led to the reduction in deaths to 97 down from 141 respectively.
“The regional and international meetings held in the country were all incident-free with no accidents or lost belongings, an indication of how safe and secure Rwanda is,” Minister Harelimana observed.
Rwanda has hosted a number of local and international meetings this year including the African Development Bank Annual General meeting which brought together over 3000 participants, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, Interpol meeting on genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity, Women In Parliament, tripartite summit and the Pan-African Youth Conference.
The country also held its 20th genocide commemoration and liberation anniversaries which were attended by thousands of friends of Rwanda including Heads of States and international organizations.
Only nine cases of corruption within the force were also registered in which seven of those caught are Non-Commissioned Officers while two others are junior officers. 26 civilians, majority drivers, were also apprehended attempting to bribe police officers.
Between July and December last year, 78 cases of corruption in the force were reported.
The Inspector General of Police, Emmanuel K. Gasana said the decrease in graft-related cases was due to tough measures initiated, including enforcing the law and dismissal of any officer implicated in such illegal acts.
“It is very clear; any Police officer caught in graft related crimes is dismissed from the force with no compromise. Be it a bribe of Rwf500 or Rwf1 million, we treat it the same,” the IGP said.
He, however, said the force established the anti-corruption department, Police Disciplinary Unit (PDU), Ethics training centre and quarterly inspection and audits to keep the officers in the check.
He also outlined improving the welfare of the officers, online registration especially of driving licence seekers, decentralization of motor vehicle mechanical inspection centre and hotlines as some of the other initiatives that have led to the reduction of corruption cases in the force.
During the session, concerns were also raised over the threat posed by the genocidal forces – FDLR – hauled up in the jungles of the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.
“FDLR is not only a threat to Rwanda but also to the entire region. This is a terrorist organization working with other negative groups like RNC [Rwanda National Congress] and other regional terror groups with intent to destabilize Rwanda,” the Police Chief said.
“With the good partnership between security organs and the general public, we apprehended 44 people connected to these terror groups, who were trying to coordinate or carryout subversive activities in the country, and also recovered eight guns and 21 grenades, which they intended to use,” he added.
“There is security in Rwanda and there will be no hesitation to use all possible means to stop whoever tried to destabilize it,” he noted.
IGP Gasana also disclosed that the force is in the process to acquire six other firefighting trucks in the next three months to be stationed at the regional level, to deal with emerging fire challenges.
This will be an addition to two other rescue crane vehicles the force acquired recently.
“We have enough firefighting equipment to cover the City of Kigali and we are now shifting to other parts of the country and that’s why even in this financial year, we allocated a budget to procure other ten firefighting engines to further reinforce provinces,” IGP Gasana said.