Wave of crime hits Kigali as police increase operation to reverse trend

Sunday September 19 2021
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Incoming local leaders face a backlog of citizens’ complaints, expediting delayed projects and tackling social ills either induced or exacerbated by the pandemic. PHOTO | CYRIL NDEGEYA


A wave of crime has hit Kigali City and its environment, leading to fears among residents of losing their valuables to criminals.

The criminals who come armed with iron bars, machetes, and other crude weapons break in and steal electrical appliances like TV sets, laptops, and other household items.

In the recent past, the criminals would only take household items, but some have started harming or killing members of the households they rob.

Shock and fear engulfed Masaka, a Kigali suburb as residents recently woke up to murder of a young man identified as Rwakaza Edgar, who robbers hacked to death before taking off with household items.

According to family members, Edgar who lived with his older sister, heard someone attempting to break into the house in the middle of the night, and attempted to repulse them before he met his death.

Rwanda National Police say there are aware of the cases and have put in place measures to curb robbery including arresting suspected thieves.


The police have also increased patrols in neighbourhoods to prevent robberies as well as increased neighbourhood watch to report suspected criminals.

On August 16, Rwanda National Police foiled attempted the‑ of two motorcycles in Kimihurura Sector, Gasabo District, after arresting three suspects.

The suspected thieves had broken into the house of a USA-national where they stole the two motorcycles.

But not everyone is lucky. Another resident of Kimironko who has been a victim of these robberies several times boycotted paying the monthly security contribution, saying he can't continue paying for a service he doesn't benefi t from.

Observers say the increase in thefts and robberies has a correlation with the economic contractions caused by the coronavirus pandemic, as many members of the informal sector lost jobs, driving jobless youths to desperation.

While incidences of mobile money fraudsters who dupe mobile money users and steal their money are also increasing these days, which has prompted MTN Rwanda to send a warning to its customers to be vigilant about such fraudsters, many of which are mobile money agents.