In the letter released on 16th August 2020 by the City of Kigali, two major markets in Kigali known, Nyarugenge and Nyabugogo markets, were temporarily closed due to the persistent increase of COVID 19 cases from these markets. Even if Kigali Market is now open, but the closure has impacted negatively wedding planners.
“My wedding gown plus my bride’s maid’s dresses were still in making. I was supposed to be picking them this week as my wedding ceremony was this Saturday. Now, I have to find them somewhere else, which will cost me another amount of money because I had already paid 470,000 frw out of 600,000 frw in advance, which is nonrefundable”, said Wibabara, angry. She was worried that she may not get her best choices because she was racing with time as well.
Wibabara Joy is one of the people that were supposed to be having their wedding ceremony on 5th September 2020. She claims that COVID 19 in general affected her wedding plans massively but as she was copping up with the measures and restrictions, the closure of Nyarugenge market messed up most of her plans.
Uwizeye Grace also said that her wedding cake had to be baked from one of the bakeries that operate from Nyarugenge market. She proceeded and said that she had paid 90,000 frw in advance, which is nonrefundable hence a non-predicted loss on her wedding budget. Nyarugenge and Nyabugogo markets are one of the major city markets in Kigali that serve mostly people in Kigali.
Alice Uwingeneye operates her decoration services at Nyabugogo market, she explains how much this incidence has become a challenge to her: “I have clients almost every weekend even on the first weekend of August. I had 4 clients who even had paid me booking fees that approximately amounts to 1.5 million. They have lost trust in me since I had used those payments for my projects.” She further says, that she has been affected in very many ways including being jobless.
James Mupenzi also works with one of the event planners as a photographer and says that wedding parties were the major events that benefited his financial status. “Our offices are located in Nyarugenge market. Due to its closure, we are not receiving clients hence not earning anything besides, most of our equipment were locked up inside”, James said.
Mayor of city of Kigali, Pudence Rubingisa said that those who sell perishable goods could reallocate to open sites/ markets unlike those with nonperishable goods.
These measures taken have affected all the people that operate from these markets since they have lost their jobs, and those that it serves since these markets harbored many demanded goods and services.
Currently in Rwanda, up to 3rd August, total cases of people tested positive of Covid 19 were 4255, 2163 recovered and 2074 active cases.