New levies shock bar owners as entertainment joints reopen

Wednesday October 20 2021
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Papyrus Bar and Restaurant in Kigali. PHOTO | FILE


Bar owners have raised concerns over new levies they are required to pay before reopening.

Among the new municipality charges that new and old bars have to pay are sign post charges, which range between Rwf20,000 for a one-meter sign post and Rwf10,000 for one that is less than one meter.

These are some of the requirements for bars to be registered as set up by the Rwanda Development Board. Bars also have to pay monthly district taxes in addition to security and hygiene fees.

Teta Hannifer had always wanted to start a business, opening up a bar was top on the list, then the coronavirus pandemic struck, and everything went south. But she never dropped her idea of opening a bar, even when bars remained closed for 18 months, when the government finally gave bars the green light, she opened one in Kabeza, but the reality had informed a little adjustment in the concept of the business.

Ms Teta ended up opening a bar that is blended with other domestic groceries, so one part was a bar, the other was a mini shop, a pivot that would not only serve a wide range of customers, but be more suited for the pandemic times.

When bars opened, customers from her friends and other people started coming to the bar, but the charges are weighing her down.


“People are happy to finally be able to go to bars and meet with friends there, they have been coming to my bar which is a positive for me.” “But the taxes and charges are a burden, they are challenging for my business that is only beginning” She also said the curfew which is starts at 10pm is still a burden specially for small bars.

The behaviour of bar customers in Kigali is that they never go to one bar, before the pandemic they would hop from one bar to another until morning.

They start with big bars and end with the smaller ones that are sometimes closer to their homes, which is why the 10pm curfew is still problematic “By the time customers come to small bars like mine they are rushing, they spend a few minutes and time is up.

Among the guidelines released by the Ministry of Trade and Industry is that all employees of bars must have been vaccinated. Bar owners are also required to have their workers screened for Covid-19 after every 14 days.