Thirty arrested in Highway operations as Police tightens grip against graft
Police operations conducted on the night of December 06 along major highways cross the country let to the arrest of 30 drivers who attempted to bribe traffic police officers.
Of the 30 drivers arrested, nine were arrested along different roads within central region – Kigali and were paraded before the media at Kicukiro Police station where they are currently held.
Others arrested include eight from the Eastern Region, two in the North, four in the South and Six in the Western Region.
According to the Traffic Police Spokesperson, Chief Inspector of Police (CIP), Emmanuel Kabanda the operation was conducted in the framework of the ongoing Anti-Corruption Week that is running under the theme: “Fighting Corruption is an obligation for all.”
“We conduct such operations frequently and arrest drivers; we will not stop these operations until everyone understands the dangers of corruption. The arrested drivers have families that are now being affected by the arrests. Also, their businesses are halted because of such a reckless act,” said the spokesperson.
He added that the only way to avoid such effects is to always comply with the laws.
“Where an offence has been committed, adhere to what the law provides; if you are required to pay a fine, do so, fix the problem and move on with your businesses, rather than a shortcut that would eventually put you in serious troubles,” said CIP Kabanda.
He further added on that, corruption has diverse effects not only on individuals, but also to the country since it affects the economy and translates to a slow pace of development.
He further made reference to article 640 of the penal code which stipulates that any person who explicitly or implicitly offers, directly or indirectly proposes or promises a gift or any other illegal benefit, to a person in charge of a service, mission or mandate in order to render a service to him/her or somebody else, shall be liable to a term of imprisonment of 2 years to 5 years and a fine of 2 to 10 times the value of the illegal benefit granted or promised.
One of the drivers, Emmanuel Mpazimpaka expressed his regret for attempting to bribe the police saying that; “In an attempt to give a policeman Rwf2000, I was arrest. Since then, my businesses are heavily affected and I regret my acts.”
In a related development, the same police operation that lasted for six hours also arrested 12 drivers who were driving under the influence of alcohol to whom CIP Kabanda said; “The public should take caution and be responsible even when they are enjoying. A drunk driver is a risk not only to their lives but to other road users and property. Therefore, responsibility is very crucial in ensuring road safety,” CIP Kabanda said.
He cited that the objective of RNP is to create an accident-free environment which can be attained by contribution from every road user.
Kabanda also warned that Police is mandated to confiscate a driving permit if the driver is under the influence, as well as those found to be drunken driving one year after being penalized for the same offence.
Also the late night operation led to the impounding of 54 vehicles and 71 motorcycles that lacked proper documents, driven by drunk drivers, or whose drivers attempted to bribe police officers.