Rwanda: City of Kigali Imposes Hefty Fines for Violation of Covid-19 Guidelines

Passengers queue to board a bus at Nyabugogo Taxi Park in Kigali after the government eased lockdown regulations (file photo).
3 September 2020

The City of Kigali has announced tough penalties that include fines and detention for non-compliance of directives meant to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.

According to the document, every resident, service provider, public and private institutions in Kigali will be punished if they violate the guidelines.

Traders and service providers who refuse digital payment will be charged a Rwf25,000 fine and a possible closure of the business until the required payment model is in place.

Failure to wear or incorrectly wearing a face mask will result in a fine of Rwf10,000 and 24-hour detention in reserved space. Here, the violator will be educated on the measures to prevent coronavirus infections.

In case the person not wearing a mask is a child above two years, the parent or guardian will pay the fine.

A similar penalty will apply to persons who violate curfew time as well as those who do not respect the one-meter social distancing.

For institutions, if the number of workers exceeds the 50 percent recommended by the government guidelines, a fine of Rwf150,000 will be paid. The institution may also be required to close until the effort is enforced.

In transport, taxi moto operations without a hand sanitizer or found carrying a passenger without the mandatory headscarf will be subjected to a fine of Rwf25,000.

Public bus owners will pay the same amount if any of their vehicles carry more people than the established number.

Organisers and hosts of gatherings deemed unnecessary such as birthday, bridal shower parties, and the likes will be fined Rwf200,000 while each attendee will have to pay Rwf25,000.

A fine of Rwf50,000 will be paid by any person leaving or entering an area placed under lockdown without prior permit.

Markets, shopping malls and bus stations failing to implement all required measures including handwashing facilities and temperature screening will be fined Rwf300,000.

The heaviest penalty involving a fine of up to Rwf1 million will be subjected to any owner of a construction site guilty of violating the City of Kigali directives guiding Covid-19 prevention established on May 4.

All penalties will be doubled in case the offence is repeated a second time. A person who violates the guidelines more than twice will be prosecuted in courts of law, according to the document.

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