230 arrested for holding illegal prayers in Rwanda

By APN and Agencies

Rwanda National Police (RNP) has arrested 239 people, who had converged and praying at a hill in Kanyarira Village, Mpanda Cell in Byimana Sector, Ruhango District, contrary to the government’s directives against gatherings.

The violators belonging to different religious denominations were found congregating at Kanyarira hill on the morning of Saturday, July 17.

Superintendent of Police (SP) Theobald Kanamugire, the Police spokesperson for the Southern region, said that the violators include 70, who came from Muhanga District and 169 from Ruhango District.

“In the morning of Saturday, July 17, residents of Kanyarira Village walk-up in the morning only to find a big gathering at the hill called Kanyarira. Some of them had spent there a night while others joined them that morning,” said SP Kanamugire.

He added: “Residents called the Police and officers found 239 people on the hill, most of them had no face masks, there was no social distancing as they were holding hands praying.”

SP Kanamugire warned against such deviant behaviors at a time when the country is faced with a surge in Covid-19 infections and related deaths.

“Right now, eleven districts are under lockdown where movements beyond other districts of the country is prohibited so are gatherings in all public and private settings. Such deviant behaviors practices can lead the whole country into total lockdown not forgetting how many lives could be lost,” said SP Kanamugire.

He advised all believers to go to churches that were permitted to hold services instead of exposing their lives to the deadly virus.