BUGESERA — They were sipping a beer in the morning and at lunch at various drinking joints in town here for relaxation. At times they hang over the counter and holler. Now those times are gone.
New laws hold bars and pubs to open not before 5 PM, and be closed by 10 PM on weekdays. Failure to respect the rule carries a deterrent fine or may lead to closure of ones’ business.
Such is the situation of the bottle lovers in Nyamata town, many of whom have failed to cope with it and are surprised whenever the bar operators turn down their orders at various joints.
Bar proprietors say they want government to loosen the rules governing drinking, saying the move is impacting negatively on their business.
“Our time of operation is limited, yet the tax obligation is intact. How can a business operate for about five hours in a day yet you pay same taxes, wages to waiters and rent?” one owner said.
The drinkers are not content with the law either.
“I may be working as a night watchman whose working hours do not fall within the time presumed by many. Or maybe I am a business man whose business is transacted early and finished. How can I wait for 5.00 PM to relax?”
Citing workers in hospitals, they reason futher that drinking is a “stimulant” for other types of work.