COVID-19: Scores arrested operating bars, drinking

Scores of people were arrested in different parts of the country on Wednesday after they were found either operating bars or drinking in the same spots, which are barred from opening under the government directives to fight and prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). 

Police said that those taken into custody also include those found traveling on motorcycles in pairs and drivers, who were transporting non-essential things like timber.

Majority of those taken into custody were found in different drinking joints in City of Kigali, Police said.

In Gahanga Sector, Kicukiro District, Police and local leaders apprehended night people, who were found drinking in the bar owned by one Alice Ufitamahoro. Ufitamahoro is among those arrested and currently detained at Gahanga Police station.

Three others were found locked inside a bar located in Kigugu I Village, Kinunga Cell of Gikondo Sector also in Kicukiro before other eight were caught in Gako Cell, Masaka Sector in the bar owned by Oscar Mwamini.

In Gasabo, five were caught in the home of one Mujawayezu Annonciatha, who had relocated his bar to his house located in Karuruma Cell, Gatsata Sector while other scores were arrested in Kayonza and Nyaruguru districts.

Two motorcycles found with two people on each, were also impounded in Ruhango town. Two vehicles were also impounded in Kanombe and Jabana after they were found transporting trees and timber.

Rwanda National Police (RNP) spokesperson, Commissioner of Police (CP) John Bosco Kabera advised the general public to be responsive and heed the directives instead of being forced.

“Government directives are very clear and must be respected; all bars are closed for the entire period of the lockdown, but that doesn’t mean that you relocate your bar to your home because you will be equally breaking the law and you will be penalized for it,” CP Kabera warned.

He added: “The directives allows only essential services like shops and markets selling foodstuff, hygiene materials, banking and medical services.”

The spokesperson further explained that scores of people found loitering for no apparent or clear purpose, were sensitized on the importance of the lockdown, unnecessary movements and urged to stay at home unless they are going for the specified essential services. 

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