The Rwandan Ministry of Trade and Industry on Wednesday said that 146 companies and business people have been fined over various offenses amid the COVID-19 lockdown.
Since March 17, the total fine amount has reached 10,740,000 Rwandan francs (about 11,480 U.S. dollars), the ministry said in a statement.
The statement came as seven new cases were reported on Wednesday, bringing the country’s total to 82.
Inspections conducted inside the city found an abnormal increase in prices of some products, intentional use of unapproved weighing scales and issuance of illegal invoices, said the statement.
According to the ministry, the offenders breached laws related to consumer protection and the organization of internal trade.
Earlier in March, the Eastern African country put into place limits on the sales of foodstuffs and other essential commodities per day to prevent panic buying amid the coronavirus lockdown.
The ministry also required all traders, including retailers and wholesalers, to avoid pricing up goods, whether they are imported or locally produced.
In addition, it also set tariffs on different commodities to prevent traders from taking advantage of the current situation to deceive buyers.
On March 21, Rwanda announced the implementation of stricter measures in a bid to contain the spread of COVID-19, banning unnecessary movements of residents and ordering border closure.