[PHOTOS]: We won't let GBV stand in our way of dev’t, says Min Kaboneka
The Minister of Local Government, Francis Kaboneka, yesterday, presided over the official launched a week-long campaign against Gender Based Violence and Child abuse, and called for mass action against the scourge.
The minister, who was addressing about 1000 local leaders in Bugesera District, said that GBV and child abuse effects socio-economic development, and called for proactive and collective measures between all to address the challenges.
The campaign runs under the umbrella of Police Week launched a fortnight ago.
“We can't achieve development, public safety and health amidst family conflicts, and neither should our quest for sustainable development be hindered by GBV; this is why we must eliminate this scourge. We have the means and abilities to reverse the trends,” the Minister said.
The week-long campaign fits within the family month and drew partners from the Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion, Gender Monitoring Office and National Women’s Council, among others
The event is also part of series of campaigns held in line with Police Week 2018 that runs under the theme; ‘18 Years of Partnership in Policing: Towards a Crime-free Village.’ It is part of the RNP 18th anniversary.
Minister Kaboneka also pointed out that, any form of child abuse affects the entire society; "when a child is abused and mistreated, they risk running away from home, drop out of school and end up on streets and become thieves and other wrongdoings."
“The things they do in that kind of a life affects the entire society, and that's why we must be on the lookout for their welfare. When it comes to children's rights and welfare, we all must be concerned because what affects your neighbor's child may affect your child as well,” he observed.
The government, he said, loses a lot of money in rejuvenating the abandoned and abused children yet the same resources would be channeled to developmental affairs had families taken good care of them.
He also hinted on the issue of abuse of illicit drugs as the major cause of GBV and child abuse, an issue he said shoould equally be give due attention to identify dealers.
"Anyone who shields his or her neighbor who deals in drugs must know that they are shielding an evil that is going to turn against them at any point.”
During the meeting, the Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIGP) in charge of Administration and Personnel, Juvenal Marizamunda called for a change in attitude.
“Behavior change is key to addressing GBV and Child Abuse and local leaders should take the lead in sensitizing the people and work with security organs in the protection of people's rights from being violated," DIGP Marizamunda said.
He added: “In having crime-free villages, we go beyond response and invest much efforts in prevention and social development initiatives. We believe good citizens come from families that live in harmony; for the best of our people and our nation's development, we must work together in ensuring we have good citizens and we can only achieve that through ensuring harmony in our families.”
The meeting was also attended by the Governor of Eastern Province, Fred Mufulukye.
Local leaders' commitments
Patricia Nyiramagwe, a Village chief of Rugarama, said: “We are not only going to campaign against GBV but we are also going to tell the people about the stringent measures they risk as stipulated in the law because people need to know that there are laws punishing such malpractices.”
Another local leader, Theogene Uwimana from Kibungo Cell of Ntarama sector said they will start by identifying and reconciling conflict ridden families, and educating families on family matters, and partnership in their development.