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Rwanda’s ex-national team goalkeeper suspended over drug abuse

The former goalkeeper of Rwanda National football team, Olivier Kwizera who has been arrested earlier this month for marijuana-related offenses…

The former goalkeeper of Rwanda National football team, Olivier Kwizera who has been arrested earlier this month for marijuana-related offenses have been convicted to 1 year in prison after they were found guilty of illegally consuming cannabis, a judicial source confirmed Thursday to APA in Kigali.Kwizera along with his 7 co-accused were found guilty for consuming m,arijuana in Kimisagara suburb- one of the settlements in Kigali city commonly associated with drug abuse.

After analyzing evidence and charges levied on the suspects, the Kicukiro Primary Court convicted all the suspects to a one year suspended jail sentence.

A suspended jail term can be referred to as a ‘lenient punishment’ which is served outside jail walls for the duration ruled by the judge. However, it is only for crimes whose punishment is a term of imprisonment not exceeding five years.

In September 2017, Kwizera became the first Rwandan goalkeeper to play in the South Africa Premier League after signing a two-year contract with Free State Stars FC.

The then 22-year-old Rwanda international completed his move to the club which is based in Bethlehem, Free State after acquiring the Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) players intermediaries license (ITC).

Kwizera, whose career started with military side APR FC youth team before joining Bugesera FC’s two years ago, becomes the first Rwandan to sign a permanent contract with a South African first division club.

In a related development, a cabinet meeting on October 12, 2020, approved guidelines that allow the growing of cannabis in Rwanda. However, the guidelines centre on cultivating, processing and export of cannabis for therapeutic purposes.

Medical cannabis produced in Rwanda is solely for export markets, according to the guidelines.

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