A delegation of 30 residents of Kagarama, a crime free village in Nyamirama Cell, Gitoki Sector in Gatsibo District, on Thursday conducted a tour in the City of Kigali in a bid to further improve their community policing initiatives.
Kagarama has not registered a crime in the last three years, thanks to the initiatives by the residents in partnership with their village leaders. To achieve this, residents formed fifteen clusters each composed of fifteen households to ensure neighbourhood watch including identifying newcomers and easy flow of information.
The village has active community policing committees, community night patrols (Irondo), and all the 609 residents are organised in clusters with each cluster composed of 15 households. All children supposed to be in school are known, and indeed in school; all households are covered by medical insurance and organised in cooperatives. They meet at least twice weekly under umugoroba w'ababyeyi to discuss community issues.
Late last year, RNP connected all the 153 households in the village with solar energy as a reward for their outstanding implementation of the community policing concept. The force also extended an invitation to the village’s resident to visit Kigali.
The delegation was headed by Gatsibo’s vice-mayor in charge of Social Affairs, Theogene Manzi, and included the village leader and his committee, elders and the youngsters.
They went to the police Headquarters in Kacyiru, where they were received by the inspector general of police Emmanuel K. Gasana, who commended their commitment to crime prevention and to making their village an example of community policing.
“You clearly show what community policing means and how it impacts on the wellbeing of the communities,” Gasana said.
He also observed that security bodies cannot effectively fight criminal activities without the help from citizens, and urged the visitors to keep up the spirit and endeavour to always share the skills with the other villages to ensure the communities safe communities.
The police chief also pledged that the force will build a village office in Kagarama to supplement the community policing efforts.
Kagarama’s village chief Patrick Bimenyimana, the of Kagarama, thanked RNP for the support, adding that the tour enlightened them and provided a huge motivation for more commitment to make other communities safe and secure.
“In the first place, we put much effort in the fight against drugs abuse, which was the source of many other crimes like domestic and gender-based violence, fighting and theft,” Bimenyimana said.
Vice mayor Theogene Manzi for his part observed that the fact that Kagarama village has been crime free for the past three years is a great lesson and their example is having an impact on other villages.
The Kagarama delegation later also visited the Campaign against Genocide Museum at Parliament and the Kigali Convention Centre.