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On Saturday, July 10, Rwanda National Police (RNP) arrested 72 people in Rusizi District for holding prayer gatherings in homes contrary to the Government directives against the spread of Covid-19.
At least 52 people had converged at the home of one Antoine Bavakure located in Kirabyo Village, Gahinga Cell of Mururu Sector, where they were found worshipping.
Other 20 worshipers were arrested at the home of Simon Bwanakweri, 61, located in Murinzi Village, Cyendajuru Cell of Giheke Sector.
The Western region Police spokesperson, Chief Inspector of Police (CIP) Bonaventure Twizere Karekezi said that all the violators are members of Pentecostal Church.
“Area residents reported two homes, which had been turned into churches with many people gathered there worshipping.
Police and local leaders conducted the operations in Mururu and Giheke sectors where the 72 violators were found congested in small rooms without facemasks, no hand-washing facilities and no social distancing,” said CIP Karekezi.
Bavakure is a grassroots leader in Kirabyo Village and it is not the first time he has been implicated in similar violations.
CIP Karekezi reminded the public that the cases of Covid-19 continue rising, which requires maximum compliance with the government prevention directives and collective responsibility to report errant violators.
“Religious services are only allowed in churches permitted to resume hosting worshippers at 30% of the total occupancy and adhering to health measures. overcrowding in such small rooms is exposing your life to risks of infection and spread of Covid-19 pandemic,” said the spokesperson.
He commended the public for their role in community policing through sharing information and urged them to keep up the spirit.
All violators were educated on health measures and handed administrative fines.