Rwanda National Police (RNP) has issued fresh caution to individuals, groups and the business community, whose actions contravenes the government safety guidelines meant to contain the pandemic of novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).
RNP spokesperson, Commissioner of Police (CP) John Bosco Kabera said that although the security situation remains generally good and the compliance largely high, there are still “unnecessary isolated incidents of selfish business owners who are being willingly negligent,” warning of “punitive measures without exception.”
He singled out the recent cases; 20 people found in a Sauna and massage parlour at Lebanon Hotel in Remera, Gasabo District and 55 others at a music concert at +250 Bar in Niboye, Kicukiro District.
On May 23, at about 9:30pm, Police caught 55 people drinking at +250 Bar, where a local music group called TUFF GANG had held a virtual concert.
The bar was supposed to be closed as per the government directives. The curfew also starts at 9PM while virtual concerts or music shows should also be in line with the recommended safety guidelines, which prohibits inviting revelers to gather in one place as everyone is only supposed to follow the show online.
“We shall continue to sensitize the public towards mindset change. However, we are glad that there is greater improvement in compliance and personal ownership of the directives. We continue to partner with other institutions in enforcing the directives,” said CP Kabera.
He added: “We continue to encourage the public to report such unacceptable and risky actions. If online concerts attract people to gather in a bar, hotel or home, this is a violation of anti-COVID-19 directives and measures will be taken.
Our intention is not to punish or detain anyone; however, we have to enforce the directives. We do this first by raising awareness, which is followed by punishing those who intentionally continue to violate the regulations.”
Kabera warned of continuous operations adding that it’s the Police’s responsibility to ensure that directives are adhered to.
“We operate 24/7 conducting awareness while uncovering tricks used to circumvent the measures in place. We are always in this together; fighting the spread of the pandemic is a collective responsibility.”