Extortion Scandal Sparks, Calls for Suspension of Kanaba Security Checkpoint in Kisoro

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KISORO – Leaders and residents in Kisoro district are calling for the suspension of the Kanaba security checkpoint, alleging widespread extortion by personnel stationed there.

Established in 2022 by the Kisoro district security committee to address criminal activities and monitor the movements of suspected M23 and Alliance for Democratic Forces-ADF rebels from the Democratic Republic of Congo, the checkpoint has now become a focal point of concern.

According to local reports, leaders and community members assert that security forces, including the UPDF and Police, as well as immigration officers, are engaging in extortion, extracting money from passengers. Allegedly, the checkpoint is being exploited to harass individuals, particularly those without National Identity cards.

Jonathan Nsabiyunva, recounting his experience, reveals that he was compelled to pay 10,000 shillings while traveling to Kabale without a National Identity card. He asserts that individuals are coerced into paying sums ranging from 10,000 to 50,000 shillings.

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Mary Nyirabwiza, another victim, shares that she was detained for over two hours for refusing to pay the 20,000 shillings demanded by the officers. She further states that the officers instructed the vehicle she was in to leave her stranded at the checkpoint until she met their financial demands.

Expressing concern over these incidents, Mayor of Kisoro Municipality, Richard Ndyana, acknowledges similar complaints from people who have been extorted at the Kanaba checkpoint. He urges the security committee to take punitive action against officers engaged in such misconduct.

CUE IN NDYANA……ON CHECKPOINT…RR/ENG//

Kisoro district Chairman Abel Bizimana takes a stronger stance, advocating for the immediate closure of the checkpoint. He warns that if security authorities fail to address the issue promptly, he will mobilize locals to participate in peaceful demonstrations.

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CUE IN BIZIMANA….ON CHECKPOINT….ENG//

However, Kisoro district Resident District Commissioner Hajji Badru Ssebyala has declined to comment on the matter, citing his recent arrival in the district.

The community’s appeal for the suspension of the Kanaba security checkpoint reflects growing discontent with the alleged misconduct of security personnel, prompting concerns about the abuse of power and extortion at this crucial point.

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