Rwanda National Police (RNP) has cautioned members of community policing groups commonly known as ‘Irondo’ to conduct themselves lawfully following a viral video that circulated showing Irondo operatives of Kagarama Sector in Kicukiro district violently assaulting a suspect.
The video, shared on Twitter by a user shows the guards violently kicking the unidentified man in the Kagarama sector patrol car as he begged for mercy as onlookers condemned the conduct of the security men.
“Rwanda Police arrested the individuals who were involved in this assault. They will be charged. The victim has been accorded medical care,” RNP responded on Twitter, with the Minister of Justice Johnston Busingye commending Police for taking up the matter.
Eye witnesses who spoke to KT Press in Kicukiro district accused community policing members of Kagarama sector and other sectors of district, of acting with excess force, sometimes arresting and beating innocent people.
“Sometimes they come here randomly and pick us even when we are just from playing football in the evening. They ask for identification and when you ask why, they beat you and accuse you of taking drugs. They force you on the car,” said Jean Claude Ishimwe, a university student and resident of Kagarama.
Following the incident, Kicukiro District also promised to look into the matter and act accordingly.
RNP Spokesperson CP John Bosco Kabera said Police regularly meets community policing groups and cautions them on their behaviour as they go about their work.
“We meet them regularly, brief them and supervise their activities. We investigate and deal with any complaint against them. Those involved in any act of indiscipline face the law. We would continue doing it,” he said.
Community Policing Committees, which operate at the village level, have been commended for boosting safety and security as well as crime prevention over the last 13 years since they were introduced to support other law enforcement organs.
Citizens pay a monthly non-statutory fee for security, from which each sector budgets for community policing while Police works closely with the Community Policing Committees to prevent crime and ensure security within their respective communities.
Iyi ni imodoka ya @KicukiroDistr Kagarma sector, abo ngo bashinzwe umutekano ariko mundebere uko bahondagura umuntu ugaramye mu modoka agenda aboroga asaba imbabazi. @IngabireIm @BusingyeJohns @RIB_Rw @Rwanda_Justice @CityofKigali @RNPSpokesperson @Rwandapolice do something. pic.twitter.com/DWePxfJuOq
— Alex Mwebaze (@AlecksM1) August 18, 2019