By Melodie Mukansonera
A Ugandan smuggler identified as Warren Musekura was on June 02 shot by security personnel after he resisted arrest and instead attempted to attack patrol personnel with a spear and a machete.
The incident happened inside Rwandan territory, 12 km from the Uganda border, around Kamatengu village of Ruconsho Cell in Rwerere Sector, Burera District. Area residents identified Muhereza Sidini also known as Swidini whom they said is a resident of Bigagga Parish in Kabale District Uganda, adding that the man was a notorious smuggler.
Musekura was intercepted as he smuggled crude gin and two sacks of match boxes via a porous border, which is when “he went berserk attacking the security patrol with his weapons,” according to border authorities.
Burera residents say the deceased smuggler had for long “sworn to fight anyone who stood in his criminal ways,” according to our sources, that this was not a man to surrender lawfully to agents of law and order. “A man carrying a spear and machete is obviously determined to use them, so when he drew the weapons members of the security patrol had to defend themselves,” added a Rwandan border official that preferred to speak off the record.
The deceased’s body was taken to Butaro Hospital for postmortem. The smuggler had no document on him when he died.
Following the incident, Kabale LC5 chairman Patrick Besigye Keihwa was reported to have talked to Burera District Mayor Marie-Chantal Uwanyirigira and it was agreed that the deceased’s body be repatriated to Uganda. Currently, his family is making arrangements.
Authorities in Rwanda have repeatedly warned that smuggling is a crime in Rwanda and anyone engaged in it was liable to face the law. “There are several legal crossings; why use ungazetted crossing points? Anyone wishing to enter Rwanda is free to do so, as long as they use recognized border points,” Rwandan authorities have stressed.
On the other hand, illegal crossings (the so-called panya routes) have in the recent past been used by members of terrorist groups trying to destabilize the peace of Rwandans. “This should serve as extra-warning to anyone that chooses to use ungazetted crossings, that Rwanda will not compromise on guarding her security,” asserted our source at the border.