COVID-19: Drunken violators caught in Nyabihu bars

On 22 December 2020 at 09:02

At least 50 people were caught in Nyabihu District after they were found in bars drinking illicit brew.

This was during inspection and operations on compliance with COVID-19 directives conducted jointly by the Police and local authorities in Jenda Sector, on December 19-20.

They were arrested in two separate bars owned by Emmanuel Kubwimana, 45, and Felix Niyoyita, 32 in Nyirakigugu and Kabatezi cells respectively.

Some of the violators turned violent in the process as the Police and local authorities were enforcing the directives.

Chief Inspector of Police (CIP) Bonavanture Twizere Karekezi said that on December 19, as the Police and local leaders were carrying out inspection on COVID-19 prevention compliance in Jenda, Nyirakigugu cell, they found 43 people drinking in the bar owned by Kubwimana.

"At about 11am, Police and the local authorities found 43 people drinking an illicit brew called Umufwe. They were congested, drinking from one pot and sharing straws, meaning if there was direct contact for one infected person he or she could infect everyone who was there," said CIP Karekezi.

On Sunday, December 20, the spokesperson added, seven other people were caught in the bar owned by Felix Niyoyita located in Kabatezi Cell, Jenda Sector. Niyoyita is among those arrested as he was also serving Umufwe substance, to his clients.

According to CIP Karekezi, some violators and local residents became violent when the Police and local leaders were enforcing the directives at Niyoyita’s bar.

"Residents started pelting stones at Police and local leaders to prevent the arrest of some of their relatives and friends, but the situation was contained and violators were held accountable," CIP Karekezi said.

He cautioned the public against breaching the national health and safety guidelines against the pandemic and warned those who attempt to obstruct enforcement of the directives.

All the violators were educated on the pandemic and health guidelines.
The bars were closed and owners fined accordingly, while the illicit substances were disposed of.