Members of Cyanika Cross Border cooperative (former smugglers) in Cyanika sector in Burera district have said they changed to legal trading after realizing smuggling negatively affects them and their country.
This was revealed on January 18th 2013 during the event to officially start Cyanika cross-border cooperative in Cyanika sector in Burera district.
The cooperative is made of 65 members, men and women who used to smuggle goods from Uganda into Rwanda.
“We thought about our country and the recent foreign aid freeze. When we realized it’s useless to make Rwanda incur losses, we took immediate action and quit smuggling,” narrates Odette Muhabwazina, head of Cyanika cross-border cooperative.
During this illegal trade, women became victims of rape, unwanted pregnancies and HIV/AIDS which resulted into broken marriages to some of them, she laments.
Members of Cyanika Cross-Border cooperative confess that smuggling brought nothing to them but heavy losses especially when they could encounter anti-smuggling officials in illegal shortcuts.
Cooperative members decided to work with Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA), sector administration and security authorities in fighting against smuggling.
Cyanika Cross-Border cooperative members contributed Rwf120000 into Agaciro Development Fund as a way of developing Rwanda.
Fabien Narayibonye, RRA representative in Northern Province thanks former smugglers for accepting to change and carry out business transparently.
RRA representative adds that they will continue to support this cooperative and help them sensitize other traders on dangers of smuggling.
‘PRO-FEMMES Twese Hamwe’ (women’s organization) promised support to Cyanika Cross Border cooperative so that members develop.