By Erasme Rugemintwaza
A Cabinet Meeting chaired by President Paul Kagame on 4th march, 2022 decided to reopen all land borders and lifted several Covid-19 restrictions including lifting the existing curfew of midnight to 4 am.
Rwanda’s Government has announced, this Friday 4th march 2022 that all borders will be fully reopened next Monday, the 7 th march 2022.
A communique issued by the office of the Prime Minister indicates that the decision to reopen the borders followed a cabinet meeting of Friday March 04, 2022.
The meeting sought to assess the state of Covic-19 response measures. Land borders shall reopen starting Monday, March 7th but people must be subject to random Covid-19 testing by the Ministry of Health upon entry,” read the communique in part.
This decision will come as relief to Rwandans and Ugandans who had been barred from crossing the Gatuna/Katuna border point.
Weeks ago, Rwanda reopened the Gatuna/Katuna border post after almost three years of closure. But crossing has been limited to Cargo.
Other borders points that will be fully reopened on Monday include Rwanda’s border with Tanzania, where only trucks where always allowed. There is also the border with Burundi which s has been closed 6 years ago, in 2015 due to the misunderstanding between Kagame and Nkurunziza, where the first was accused of sabotage by the later. The other border to fully reopened is the border of Cyanika/Chanika, the border mainly used by Rwandans for their daily needs such as food and informal occupations.
While talking to one Rwandan in Burera District, he happily and jokingly said “Tomorrow, I will be in Rya Ruhuri [ a business center in Kisoro District, Chahafi sub county) to eat grilled pork meat and drink Kanyanga number one. You know, there is a boss with who, I have made a deal to sell honey. The deal was 50 thousand benefices a week. The deal was to give me the honey without any payment and comeback to sell it in Rwanda. If it was not this closure, I would have already become now a good man. Ugandans are good guys, they help us in business and they feed us!”
The move to ease Covid-19 preventive measures came as the Government of Rwanda announced that Rwanda is closing on having 70 percent of the targeted population fully vaccinated. However, vaccination requirements remain in place for people to access key services.