Make sure you do some research before you travel to Rwanda to ensure you don’t accidentally smuggle in something illegal. Secondly, make sure you know what’s prohibited and whats not, including what are accepted and unaccepted cultural norms.
We will assist with a list of some of the common and important Dos & Don’ts when you travel to Rwanda.
Lets begin with Don’ts
- No Ethnic profiling: Don’t ask anyone about their ethnicity. Specifically, don’t ask whether one is a Hutu or a Tutsi. It is illegal and largely offensive. Rwandans are usually polite, a respondent might nicely decline to respond, but it sends a bad taste. Simply avoid it.
- No Plastic bags: As part of an environmental protection policy, plastic bags are not allowed into Rwanda. Passengers entering Kigali International Airport (KIA), or any other border posts with plastic bags are required to discard them. They will be supplied with an environmentally friendly alternative at a cost.
- No Public Smoking: Smoking, including electronic cigarettes, is not permitted inside any public venue nor in government vehicles. Smokers are advised to find designated smoking area and proceed to enjoy their puff!
- Marijuana Is Illegal: Smoking marijuana is illegal. Upon arrival, anyone carrying cannabis, unless medically prescribed, could be arrested and possibly prosecuted. On October 12, 2020, the Rwandan parliament passed a ministerial order providing for legal use, cultivation, processing and distribution of marijuana. However, the same law classifies cannabis as a “very severe narcotic’’ and any person, who unlawfully produces, transforms, transports, stores, gives to another or who sells narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, commits an offense. Upon conviction for very severe narcotics, the offender faces between 20 years and life imprisonment, and a fine of between Frw20 million and Frw30 million (US$20,000-30,000). (Read more about the commercial marijuana business here >>> )
- Prostitution Is Illegal: Prostitution in Rwanda is illegal in all aspects, according to Section 4 of the Penal Code. Article 204 of the section provides for the definition. Prostitutes, clients and any involved third parties (such as pimps and brothel keepers) are criminalised by the country’s Penal Code. However, a draft of a new Penal Code that does not prohibit prostitution is in Parliament for debate. If a person is found guilty, they shall be liable to a term of imprisonment of six (6) months to two (2) years and a fine of Rwf50,000 to Rwf500,000 (US$50-500,000 or one of these penalties. The penalties also apply to any person caught having sexual intercourse with a prostitute.
To be continued….check this link later for a complete article