In August, Rwanda Development Board (RDB) released new guidelines on night-time activities in hospitality establishments, as per the Cabinet resolution of August 1.
Commercial entertainment venues such as bars and nightclubs, are required to close at 1a.m, from Monday to Friday, and at 2a.m, on Saturday and Sunday.
The RNP spokesperson, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Boniface Rutikanga said that although the guidelines are generally respected, there are some bars that continue to violate them.
"Generally, most bars, nightclubs and other hospitality establishments that sell alcoholic beverages have complied with the regulations. However, there are some bars and neighborhood shops that have been turned into bars, which operate beyond the set hours," ACP Rutikanga said.
He added: "Some bars and other hospitality establishments have been penalised after they were found operating beyond the set time or contrary to the business license. This is a reminder of serious penalties to anyone caught violating these government guidelines."
He also warned hospitality facilities against operating contrary to the awarded business license.
"There are some facilities that were licensed as restaurants but have been turned into bars. The same goes for supermarkets, shops and liquor stores."
The Police in partnership with local government authorities, he said, have strengthened enforcement of the guidelines, across the country.
The spokesperson further cautioned against serving alcoholic beverages to minors, which is punishable by law.
By law, it is illegal to serve alcohol to persons under 18 years of age.
In article 27 of Law N?71/2018 of 31/08/2018 relating to the protection of the child, stipulates that "Any person, who offers a child alcoholic beverages or tobacco commits an offence." Upon conviction, he/she is liable to a community service for a period not exceeding one (1) month.
In case of recidivism, the penalty is imprisonment for a term of not less than one month but less than three months and a fine of not less than Rwf100,000 and not more than Rwf200,000.
The same law specifies that a person, who sells alcoholic beverages or tobacco to a child, causes or encourages a child to drink alcoholic beverages, to smoke or to go to bars commits an offence.
Upon conviction, he/she is liable to imprisonment for a term between three months and six months and a fine of not less than Rwf100,000 and not more than Rwf200,000.