Officials in Musanze District on Sunday arrested at least 51 people for breaching the government directive banning mass gathering and congregating in ungazetted areas to curb the spread of Covid-19 pandemic.
The suspects were majorly women and youth and they came from different Christian denominations.
They were arrested while praying at the edge of a mountain locally known as Ndabirambiwe located in Cyabararika Cell, Muhoza Sector, Musanze District.
Besides violation of government directive banning mass gathering, the suspects were caught in action disregarding social and physical distancing norms as they were praying.
The district mayor, Jeannine Nuwumuremyi said that local officials got a tip-off from residents that some people had congregated at a mountain to pray.
“As you all know, mass gatherings are prohibited during these moments where we are grappling with the spread of Covid-19, the suspect were therefore apprehended because they willfully went against that directive,” she noted.
The mayor added that the district had particularly banned praying activities at Ndabirambiwe Mountain ever since the time coronavirus was declared on Rwandan territory.
She revealed that security patrols would always inspect the mountain to ensure congregants are intercepted.
The suspects are currently detained at Muhoza Police Station pending further investigation.
Nuwumuremyi urged the general public to take a lead in protecting their lives and the lives of those around them by abiding with all directives that the Government has issued to contain Covid-19.
The mountain attracts a number of faithful of various churches from notably the Northern and Western provinces on a daily basis, it is believed that ‘miracles are eventually performed’ to whoever congregates at the edge of the mountain.
Ndabirambiwe is loosely translated as ‘I am fed up’, according to accounts by the locals, whoever has distractions mainly temptations, social disputes and unemployment among others, ‘prays at the mountain and God provides a solution’.