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EDITORIAL: Toying with spreading the virus should be sanctioned heavily

When we thought things were going back in place, when transport across the country would resume, when the love-hate relationship with taxi motos would be rekindled, the bombshell landed.

People would have to wait another 48 hours to know whether the anti-Covid-19 measures would be relaxed. It came as a great disappointment for many who had anticipated going on with their lives.


Rusizi District was the bearer of bad news when five of the 11 new cases of Covid-19 were discovered there, among them, a motorcyclist who transported goods. But the most alarming of all was that the others were cross-border traders who must have defied the border closure instructions to illegally cross the porous borders.


Just as we felt we were getting better of the virus, some selfish undisciplined individuals have taken the whole country back to Square One. Now the arduous task of contact-tracing has to begin in the busy border town that borders the Democratic Republic of Congo, a country that has reported over 3,000 cases of the Coronavirus.


The Rusizi factor brings into question the issue of vigilance by concerned authorities. Cross-border trade is the lifeline of both the towns of Cyangugu and neighbouring Bukavu.

Authorities should have taken into consideration that smuggling is a way of life for people living along that border. Curtailing movement of people without strict enforcement was a battle lost well in advance.

The government should clamp down on people who deliberately defy security and health directives and risk endangering the lives of others. Confining them is not enough since someone elsewhere might go down the same lane because they know they might just get a slap on the wrist or get away with it altogether.

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