Burundi’s President Pierre Nkurunziza backed the decision urging Burundians “to take drinks at home and share with their family members”. PHOTO| FILE.
Curfew on bars in Bujumbura have raised mixed reactions in citizens and bar owners on the impact the measure is causing to the Burundian society and the economy.
In November 2019 Bujumbura’s Mayor Freddy Mbonimpa imposed a curfew on the country’s biggest town after a meeting that was held with Burundi’s public security minister Alain Guillaume Bunyoni and interior minister Pascal Barandagiye.
Burundi’s President Pierre Nkurunziza backed the decision urging Burundians “to take drinks at home and share with their family members”.
President Nkurnziza indicated that the move was part of the security measures to ensure peace and stability prevail in the country.
Bar owners decried the measure as is said to be negatively impacting the bar business in the city, “before I used to sell drinks worth 150,000 francs but now after the measure I only get around 90,000 francs,” said one of the bar owners in Bujumbura.
Under the new regulations the opening hours of drinking places is from 17hrs to 21hrs local time during the week days, and from 13hrs to 21hrs during weekends and public holidays.
Bar owners have called on the Burundian government to reverse the measure in order to protect their businesses and avoid incurring losses.
“We will be forced out of business if the measure is not reviewed and now we are forced to trim down the number of employees,” said one of the bar owners.
Some of the bar tenders have already felt the backlash of the curfew after prominent bars in town with the likes of ‘TREIBEKA BAR’ were shut down for failure to comply with the new measure late last year.
“Our boss told us that we will not be paid for the last month because his bar was not operational,” said one of the bartenders.
Meanwhile some residents hailed the new measure on the bars arguing that it gives more time for family members mainly men to be close to their families after work and hence spending responsibly.
“The measure has helped me because now I go home early and keep money for other important family needs”, said one of the residents in Musaga a suburb in Bujumbura.
The decision from mayor’s office comes after a group of armed men shot dead three people earlier this month in a bar in Bujumbura.
According to the police unidentified criminals made an attack that left three dead and other three wounded afew meters away from the city center last year.
The city attacks on bars came as a military position in Cibitoke province was ambushed by unknown armed men, Burundi government said that the perpetrators fled to neighboring Rwanda after attacking the position.