Drug abuse has become a concern that has caught every stake holder’s attention from security organs, local authorities as well as the general public.
The problem is affecting all age groups. This in turn affects diverse sectors such as economy, education, health, morals and of course without forgetting internal security where drugs lay a foundation to other crimes such as domestic violence, robberies and homicides, which are normally reported.
Most drugs registered in Rwanda are cannabis and illicit brew like muriture, kanyanga, bareteta, yewe muntu and ibikwangari, all which are brewed locally and contain life threatening content.
Under article 593 Section 11, Sub-section one, growing, selling, transformation, transportation, storage and consumption of narcotic drugs are prohibited, except in cases and conditions specified by law.
Article 594 penalises any person, who consumes, injects, inhales, anoints him/herself with or makes any other unlawful use of narcotic drugs, shall be liable to a term of imprisonment of one to three years and a fine of Rwf50, 000 to Rwf500, 000.
Any person who unlawfully makes, transforms, imports, or sells narcotic drugs within the country, shall be liable to a term of imprisonment of three to five years and a fine of Rwf500, 000 to Rwf5 million.
If the acts under the preceding paragraph are committed internationally, the penalties are doubled.
Article 595 stipulates that “Any person who facilitates another person to use narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances by providing premises, or by any other means, shall be liable to a term of imprisonment of one to three years and a fine of Rwf500, 000 to Rwf5 million.
The same penalties apply to any person who knowingly, by means of fraudulent medical prescriptions, obtains or gives narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances.
Any person, who knowingly delivers narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances on presentation of fraudulent medical prescription, shall be liable to penalties under paragraph one of this article.
Article 596: Inducing a child to use narcotic drugs Without prejudice to the provisions of article 220 of this Organic Law, any person who induces a child to use narcotic drugs or use them in any other way shall be liable to a term of imprisonment of more than five years to seven years and a fine of Rwf500, 000 to Rwf5 million.
A number of people have been arrested for either selling or consuming drugs, with scores of them prosecuted or await their fate.
As part of the ongoing efforts to curb the drug abuse menace, Rwanda National Police (RNP) has (and is still) conducted countrywide sensitization campaigns on the negative effects of drugs.
Every other day security organs, local authorities, youth forums, religious groups, educate us about the effects of narcotics on our lives.
The youth are the most affected, in this case.
The progressive approach of Rwanda cannot be achieved when its biggest population segment continues to be ravened by drugs. The country’s future will be jeopardized if no efforts to eradicate the scourge are made.
The youth compose of the biggest percentage of the population and therefore eradication of narcotics trade and consumption should mainly focus on them.
Anti narcotics campaigns are being staged countrywide and involve all stakeholders including local leaders, schools, associations and civil society organizations. They are all aimed at eradication of drug consumption.
Police statistics further indicate that drug and alcohol consumption contribute to most criminal activities committed. Drug users are always caught in several criminal activities such as assaults, robberies, rapes.
Police continues to call for everyone to get involved and own all initiatives aimed at arresting drug users by providing timely information to eradicate the scourge in the country.