EDITORIAL: The youth should understand this; there is no free money

It was quite a sight early this week at the Kigali Convention Centre when hundreds of people, the majority of them young men and women, caused a huge commotion that attracted the attention of senior government and security officials.

The people had just fallen victim to one of the biggest con games the country had ever experienced, a so-called wealth creation seminar where participants were expected to pay a small fee and be able to get a gift bonus worth close to $200.

It was just too good to be true, and those who found themselves caught in the net have themselves to blame. The people behind the scam had their backs covered; they were so convincing that they had hired the prestigious Kigali Convention Centre. Their nets had been cast and they were only waiting for the gullible to fall in.

Fortunately, security services intervened before it was too late and arrested the people behind the scam with part of the money froze the mobile money accounts the victims had deposited their money before they could be emptied.

The number of people who were caught in the web of lies is very worrying; that this day people are willing to believe that they can get free money for nothing. The consolation is that all is not lost as at least some of the victims will get back their money, but it was a lesson well learned.

This should be a wake-up call to authorities, that despite all it does to empower the youth, there are even more people out there ready to mislead them. So, whatever the case, there is more work to do.