Kigali Cancels New Year Fireworks Celebrations

The skyline of Rwanda’s capital city will not be lit up with fireworks come midnight today, as the City of Kigali has cancelled all activities related to displaying fireworks ushering in New Year’s Eve.

The move is aimed at curbing the further spread of the Covid-19 pandemic through halting social gatherings and night movements among other activities.

Last week, Mayor of Kigali, Pudence Rubingisa, disclosed there will be no usual display of fireworks by the city’s administration on New Year, but private institutions like hotels among others were allowed to if they received authorisation.

During an earlier interview, he had said that Kigali Marriott Hotel had been the only one cleared at the time but that has now changed.

While speaking to The New Times on Thursday, December 31, the mayor said there will be no fireworks even from private institutions.

In a phone interview, the mayor was reported to have said “There are no fireworks to be displayed today, we have even rescinded the permission earlier granted to Marriott hotel to display fireworks because it draws large gatherings of people which is not advisable during this period where there is an upsurge in Covid-19 cases,”.

Marriott Hotel has confirmed the new development.

In a statement released by the hotel, the management said: “As we continue our new year celebrations, unfortunately, we have just been notified by the authorities that we can no longer have fireworks displayed on December 31.”

With the recent upsurge in Covid-19 cases, the Rwandan government had to institute new measures to curb the virus spread, including extending the hours of curfew.

To this end, movement is prohibited between 8 pm and 4 am, which would make it difficult for city resident to view the usual fireworks display.

In recent years, fireworks display has attracted large gatherings around Kigali as thousands usher in the New Year. The number of venues from where fireworks are launched have also grown over the years.

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