Owners of hospitality facilities cautioned on serving alcohol to minors in Muhanga

On 27 December 2017 at 09:43

The mayor of Muhanga District, Beatrice Uwamariya has urged owners and management of hotels, restaurants, and bars to protect the rights of children by not serving them alcoholic beverages.

Uwamariya also reminded owners of entertainment spots not to allow in under-aged children, which is illegal and punishable by the law.

In a meeting that brought together owners and representatives of the service sector in Muhanga including hotels, restaurants, motels, bars and night clubs, among others, the mayor urged them to take precaution and ensure that no child is served alcohol or indulges in other malpractices.

The meeting was also attended by the acting District Police Commander, Chief Inspector of Police (CIP) Jean Bosco Karega as well as representatives of other security organs.

Article 217 of the penal code defines a child as every human being aged less than eighteen years unless otherwise provided by other laws.

Article 219 also states that “any person, who offers or sells alcoholic beverages or tobacco to a child or involves him/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 or to smoke or to go to bars.

As owners or managers, establish internal mechanisms to ensure that the law is respected. This also applies to owners of night or entertainment spots; no child should be allowed in,” mayor Uwamariya said.

She also urged them to always take precaution and report to the police anyone they suspect to be trying to use their hotels to seduce and to indulge children into sexual acts.

The DPC, CIP Karega told them to record particulars of every client well, to facilitate investigations where need be,” she added.

He further urged them to hang guiding messages in their facilities that prevent serving alcohol to children or preventing them from accessing prohibited areas like night clubs.