Explore nightlife in Palma

By Esther Muhozi
On 19 December 2023 at 02:04

The nightlife experience in Palma town, Cabo Delgado Province, shares similarities with different areas in Rwanda. Among those who can attest to this is Moussa Hakizimana, the owner of a bar in Kabuga, Kigali. However, he ventured outside Rwanda last year to expand his business into Mozambique.

Upon arriving in Palma at night, one observes people strolling, entrepreneurs conducting business, motorcyclists efficiently ferrying passengers, and the streets teeming with predominantly youthful individuals. The scenes unfold in bars, outdoor movie screenings, and various other activities.

Hakizimana’s decision to establish a presence in Palma was influenced by the visible security even during nighttime, a stark contrast to what he had witnessed in Rwanda. Motivated by the commitment of Rwanda’s security forces to ensure safety in the province, he spent a month assessing the environment before launching his bar business.

Reflecting on his arrival in Mozambique in May last year, Hakizimana emphasized the importance of understanding the new setting before diving into work. He diligently gathered capital and returned with a determined mindset to establish a thriving business. His confidence in this venture stemmed from the presence of security forces from Rwanda.

Expressing his gratitude, Hakizimana stated, "If they were not there, I would not have come. I arrived to find security returning; all the streets were full of cars, and they were actively maintaining order. It was reassuring considering the initial situation. One could not see where to start."

Recognizing the crucial role fulfilled by Rwandan soldiers and police personnel, he expressed, "I firmly believe that the presence of Rwandan soldiers and police is the sole source of hope for me as a Rwandan."

Upon arrival, Hakizimana sought guidance from Burundians familiar with the area, learning the local language and adapting to the business landscape.

He emphasized the distinctions between business operations in Rwanda and Mozambique, citing differences in tax structures.

During a nighttime visit around 9:00 p.m., Hakizimana’s bar was vibrant with activity—people dancing and playing billiards. The atmosphere, characterized by Rwandan songs, could easily mislead someone into thinking they were in Rwanda.

Throughout his stay, Hakizimana attested to the absence of security concerns. He affirmed, "Being here with Rwandan police and soldiers is not the same. You feel completely safe." Recognizing the vast potential for investment, especially in agriculture, livestock, and various aspects of work, he stressed the need for comprehensive development.

Rwandan security forces actively patrol the city and its suburbs, using both armoured vehicles and foot patrols. Their vigilance involves checking for potential issues and maintaining a direct line of communication with the public, ensuring any security threats are promptly reported to Rwandan security officials.