COVID-19: Close to 30 arrested in prohibited gatherings

Some of the 29 people who were arrested in the City of Kigali after they were found engaged in varied illegal activities on Thursday. / Photo: Courtesy.

Twenty-nine people were arrested on Thursday in different parts of City of Kigali after they were found in varied prohibited activities.

They include those who had gathered for prayers as well as driving and language school instructors and their students, who were found in related lessons.


At least 14 people were praying; 11 of them found in the bush in Nyanza, Kicukiro while three others in a prayer-room in Nyamirambo.


Other 15 including teachers and students, were in the room learning languages and traffic rules and regulations.


Also arrested is Joselyne Mbabazi, the owner of the driving and language school located in CHIC building in the city centre.

These are among the prohibited activities in this period as per the government directives on curbing the spread of novel Coronavirus pandemic.

The violators were paraded to the media this Friday afternoon, at Remera metropolitan

Mbabazi argued that she had misinterpreted the directives.

“I thought the directives bind schools that only fall under the Ministry of Education,” Mbabazi said.

“Now, I understand that I breached the directives. I regret the risky and dangerous decision to reopen the school with students from different parts of Kigali. One infected case could have easily contaminated others,” she added.

Théogène Bimenyimana and Eugénie Uwiragiye, who are among those found praying, begged for leniency adding that it will never happen again.

“We violated the rules. We thought that leaving at least one-meter distance could avoid the spread of any infection but we didn’t consider that such gatherings are prohibited. As Christians, we must obey the authority, this will never happen again,” said Bimenyimana.

Uwiragiye, who was among those caught praying from the bush, said: “The directives are not against praying but rather unnecessary gathering; one can pray from home and God will still listen. We violated the directives and exposed ourselves to the pandemic.”

Rwanda National Police (RNP) spokesperson, CP John Bosco Kabera advised against such prohibited and risky actions instead of being forced.

“There are some people, who are still trying to find ways to breach the safety guidelines. We advise them to stop because they will be arrested in one way or another,” CP Kabera said.

He added: “If the directives highlight schools, you do not have to classify your school as private for the sake of violation.

You do not have to put your life at risk. You can pray and learn from your home. Directives are clear, if you do not understand them, seek clarifications from concerned organs instead of claiming that you misinterpreted them.”

The spokesperson thanked members of the public, who reported the unlawful actions and called for maximum compliance.

He warned that “whoever breaches the directives will be arrested.

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