The Rwanda National Police says it will stop at nothing to ensure the Cops you see on the streets and neighborhoods are not tainted in any way.
Data from the Police shows that for 2019 and 2020 alone, some 885 Cops were “dismissed” as the force cracks down on gross misconduct.
Among them includes 110 Officers, as well as 775 Non-Commissioned Officers and low ranking Cops.
Those highlighted above are just the tip of the iceberg. In the past three months of 2021 alone, another 386 Cops were sent packing out of the Force in February. Another 36 were dismissed earlier this month.
The dismissals come in the form of Presidential Orders when it concerns Officers, and Ministerial Orders with regard to low level police Cops.
With regards to the big number of those removed in February, reports said at the time that some police officers were exploiting the lockdown and travel restrictions put in place to control the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.
“Some people were forced to pay bribes in order to escape arrest and penalties imposed by police and local leaders,” according to the 2020 Rwanda Bribery Index by Transparency Rwanda.
For Police Spokesman CP John Bosco Kabera, the force has “Zero tolerance to any conduct prejudicial to good order and discipline by any police officer.”
“We have strict code of conduct and we follow the law,” he added.
Kabera said there were many different reasons for which a Cop can be eliminated from the force including corruption, drunkardness, desertion, and assaulting people.
Last year, in September, President Paul Kagame himself came out strongly against the cases in which several suspects in Police custody were shot dead.
Police explained some of the incidents as situations where suspects attempted to escape or grap a gun from an officer. In reaction, the officer opens fire.
However, President said during the same media encounter that the manner in which the issue was being discussed especially on social media made it appear as though it was a crisis.
“When people talk about Police brutality, I think it would be a mistake to have an image as if it is widespread or as if It is encouraged by anyone,” said Kagame.
“However, I have also learned that indeed they have been individual excesses….They have sufficient training. They have not only the ability but also the commitment to do what they are doing. The individual excesses depend on individuals really.”
The World Economic Forum’s 2017/2018 Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) ranked Rwanda as the number one African country where citizens trust and rely on Police services to enforce law.