Police calls on bar, hotel owners on child protection

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Owners of hospitality facilities in Gatsibo District have been called upon to to protect and protect the rights of children, and take immediate measures to prevent child-related or other crimes that are likely committed within their facilities.

They were also warned against offering alcoholic drinks to the minors, which is punishable by the law.

Inspector of Police (IP) Jacques Munana, Officer in Charge of Kabarole station, while addressing 86 owners of bars, lodges, restaurants and motels on December 19, noted that these places host different people, some of who can be using them to commit crimes.

“It is rare to here of a crime in your businesses, but you should be on the preventive side rather than dealing with the consequences,” IP Munana said.

He, however, noted that illegal acts of serving the under-aged children alcoholic drinks have been observed, warning of severe consequences if a minor is found either in entertainment spots or consuming alcoholic drinks in their facilities.

For the purposes of this Organic Law, a child, under article 217 of the penal code, means every human being aged 18 years unless otherwise provided by other laws.

Under article 219 of the Rwandan penal code, any person who offers or sells alcoholic beverages or tobacco to a child or involves his or her in the sale of such products shall be liable to a term of imprisonment of at least three months but less than six months and a fine of Rwf300, 000 to Rwf1 million or one of these penalties.

These penalties also apply to any person who encourages a child to drink alcoholic beverages, to smoke or to go to bars.

“Upbringing of children is not only the responsibility of parents; it is a collective responsibility that we all should be doing, helping parents, police and the country in general, to show them the right path,” he said.

He appealed to them to work closely with security organs by sharing information on any illegal act that could be happening in their areas.

He also warned against unhygienic way of transporting meat or buying meat from unrecognized people or places, noting that there’s a possibility that it could be a stolen livestock, which they should jointly fight.


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