Compliance with the directives is not optional, says Police

On 22 July 2020 at 09:26

There is no option in observing all the set directives in the fight against the pandemic of novel Coronavirus and whoever undermines these measures will be penalized accordingly, Rwanda National Police spokesperson, CP John Bosco Kabera has said.

CP Kabera was speaking on Monday, July 20, during a press conference to assess and discuss COVID-19 national response efforts in the last four months, held at Kigali Convention Centre.

The press conference brought together the Ministers; Dr. Daniel Ngamije of Health, Prof. Anastase Shyaka of Local Government, Soraya Hakuziyaremye of Trade and Industry as well as RNP represented by its spokesperson, CP John Bosco Kabera.

CP Kabera commended the role of the public in compliance and partnership in enforcement through information sharing on violators.

He gave an insight into the enforcement in the past four months, which was largely defined by awareness on the directives and safety practices through social media and other media channels, public communication system mounted on Police vehicles as well as drones which targeted markets, trading centers, and residential areas.

"We are happy that the majority of people were responsive by supporting the enforcement in one way or another, including those who continue to give us information on violators. Nonetheless, we still see some individuals, who violate the directives especially motorists," said CP Kabera.

"Police doesn’t get tired neither does it get annoyed. If you think that we will give up then you are lying to yourself; It is one thing to violate the directives and worse still undermine instructions by Police officers enforcing the directives; you will be arrested," he warned.

RNP, last week published a list of 498 motorists, who violated the curfew and disregarded instructions by officers enforcing the curfew to go to allocated centers, thereby driving or riding away. The force called all those on the list to voluntarily come forward.

"Those who have come forward, well and good; those who have not are advised to do so because they will be located and arrested if they don’t heed the call."
CP Kabera reminded the public that the pandemic neither has legs nor wings, but is spread by people.

He added that having a positive mind and individual safer choices of #NtabeAriNjye (It shouldn’t be me) wherever you emphasize the aspect of individual responsibility to adopt safety practices and to prevent further spread of the virus.

He further warned those who breach the directives or spread rumors with intent to tarnish the image of RNP that it won’t affect the Police duties, but rather legal actions will be taken against such individuals.

The Minister of Health, Dr. Daniel Ngamije reiterated the impact of the national good governance, health, and security systems in responding to the pandemic effectively.

So far, 1582 COVID-19 cases have been detected in Rwanda.

Dr. Ngamije said that the government has increased the number of testing laboratories to five in different parts of the country with the capacity to carry out about 4000 tests daily, up from one lab four months ago, which had the capacity to carry out only 300 tests per day.

Minister Shyaka observed that the governance system played an invaluable role in bringing institutions together to professionally handle the situation.

He commended the impact of security organs and youth volunteers for the "sacrifice and bravery without fear of getting infected."

He warned against operating bars, which are still closed in this period, as well as churches that go against the set guidelines.

"It is one thing to be granted permission to open for prayer services, but another to ensure that the guidelines are adhered to at all times, which can lead to closure once the church or mosque is found violating the safety guidelines," said Minister Shyaka.

In her part, Minister Soraya reiterated the ill-effects of the pandemic on the economy, which hit the tourism sector, transport, and the aviation industry as well as cross-border trade.

Although the agriculture sector was affected by 3% and exports hit by 16%, Minister Soraya said that the government ensured that people in Rwanda are not cheated on the local market by setting prices and monitoring compliance.

At least 254 traders in Kigali were penalized for inflating prices and cheating customers in this period of the pandemic.

RNP spokesperson, CP John Bosco Kabera commended the role of the public in compliance and partnership in enforcement through information sharing on violators.