Rwanda: Musanze Bar Owners, Clients Fined for Violating Lockdown

Two bar owners from Musanze District and over a dozen patrons have been fined over resisting the Government directive imposing a lockdown on all activities apart from those providing essential service.

The lockdown, which is countrywide, is aimed at containing the spread of the coronavirus in the country.

Rwf50,000 and 10,000 were fined respectively for each bar owner and clients who were red handed as law enforcers heightened vigilance to ensure the lockdown is implemented.

Both bars that were found operating are in Busogo Sector.

Speaking to The New Times, the sector executive secretary Aimable Nsengimana, said that some residents were still adamant to observe measures meant to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

"So far 17 citizens; two bar owners and 15 clients have been fined after they were found in bars which is against the government measure to contain the spread of coronavirus," he noted.

Currently, 40 cases of the virus have been positively identified in Rwanda.

Nsengimana explained that fines that are being applied to wrongdoers during the lockdown period had been established by the district advisory council, stressing that the funds are remitted to the district coffers.

Venuste Hakuzimana is a prominent bar owner in Busogo who was fined Rwf50,000 and his receipt went viral on social media platforms on Tuesday.

Speaking to The New Times, he said he regrets the fact he did not comply with government directives meant to contain the spread of COVID-19 to keep Rwandans safe.

"It is obvious that I am not happy after being fined Rwf50,000 during these hard times but it sets an example for other business owners who violate the lockdown that the consequences are dire," said the businessman.

The Northern Region Police spokesperson, Chief Inspector of Police Alexis Rugigana said they were working closely with local government entities to ensure all the directives on the lockdown are fully implemented so as to curb the spread of the virus.

Rugigana went on to urge the general public to protect their lives and those around them by abiding with the lockdown, which he said is in their interest.

The lockdown only exempts businesses offering essential services like those selling food and other essential groceries, healthcare service providers and banks among others.

The safest way to curb the spread of the virus is to wash hands frequently, avoid touching one's eyes, nose and mouth, cover the mouth while coughing, avoid handshakes and observe social distancing.

In addition to that, avoid crowded spaces and close contact with people who have a fever or cough.

In case of experiencing the following symptoms; cough, fever, tiredness and difficulty breathing (severe cases) immediately call 114 for medical assistance.

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