Five people were arrested on Sunday, September 27, in Rwimbogo Cell, Kanombe Sector in Kicukiro District for holding a house party as well as causing noise pollution and nightly disturbance.
House parties, visits, and other social gatherings are prohibited under the government directives meant to fight the further spread of COVID-19.
At about 3 am on Sunday, Police found the five people in the house of Marie Claire Kibukayire, who was holding a party in celebration of her newly built house.
Police was called in the night by neighbours, who were affected by noise pollution caused by loud music.
At the time, Police also found them drinking.
Kibukayire regretted holding “unlawful gathering and breaching the government safety guidelines.”
“I admit that what I did to organise a house-warming party and inviting friends… I violated government safety directives, which prevents such social gatherings as a way of preventing people from infecting others with COVID-19.
Beyond that, we also caused noise pollution, and the truth is that I know this is prohibited and punishable by law. I have no excuse but to ask for leniency,” Kibukayire said.
Dollar Karumugabo is one of the people caught in the night house warming party.
He also regretted the “inappropriate action” for the social visit and not being in their respective homes by 10pm as directed by the recent Cabinet meeting.
“We were drinking and the music sound was really high. We violated the instructions and ask for forgiveness,” Karumugabo reckons
Rwanda National Police (RNP) spokesperson, CP John Bosco Kabera said the violators breached varied safety instructions because they were “complacent.”
CP Kabera said: “People should know that due to this pandemic, some events were prohibited. For Kibukayire to celebrate her achievement, there was no need to invite other people for the house-warming party.
These people came from different places, gathered under one roof, started drinking, they violated the movement hours because in any case, they were supposed to be in their homes by 10pm, and as if that was not enough they disturbed the wellbeing of other people with their music.”
He reminded the general public that the pandemic is real, deadly, and still in our midst adding that there is no room to be complacent.
“Although life is slowly being restored with some services allowed to resume, this does not mean that we should relax and lean back; these services are allowed to resume under strict guidelines which should be followed as well as all other general directives still in place.”
The City of Kigali council resolutions taken on August 31, 2020, prohibit and penalise anyone, who organises, invites, or attends social events such as home parties, religious services in homes, birthday parties, bridal or baby showers, among others.
Organising or inviting people for such prohibited events attracts a fine of Rwf200,000.
Everyone, who attends these prohibited gatherings faces a penalty of Rwf25,000.
Violators are also subjected to 24 hours in centres where they are enlightened on COVID-19 prevention directives and safety guidelines.
The law No. 48/2018 of 13/08/2018 on the environment in its article 53, states that; “Without prejudice to the provisions of the law determining offenses and penalties in general, any person who causes noise pollution is liable to an administrative fine of Rwf500, 000.”
Noise pollution, according to National Noise Pollution Guidelines, is determined when the sound goes beyond 80 decibels (db). Decibel is the unit through which noise is measured and sound becomes “physically painful” when it goes beyond 80db.