End of year festivals are normally associated with a lot of evil, due to a number of reasons. These festivals include the Christmas day and the New Year. Christmas is highly celebrated by the Christian community worldwide, whereas all people enjoy the New Year.
Africans colonised by the British and other English speaking countries celebrate Christmas more than those colonised by the French and Belgians.
Jackson Musinguzi, a resident of Kimironko but born in Uganda attests to this: “When I reached Rwanda, I was bored. By the way, Rwandans celebrate Christmas. They do not care about it at all, unlike in Uganda where the day is so colourful and enjoyable.”
Rwandans under the influence of Belgians and the French highly cherish the New Year’s celebrations, to the extent that they cannot go to bed before midnight, of that particular day.
Habiyakare Alfred, a resident of Kabeza who was born and bred in Rwanda comments, “I am waiting for the day to come and that is when I will dance, drink and do all sorts of things that make me happy.
It is such an important day to me besides that, we must be happy that the Christmas Day went without many cases of insecurity being reported.
Nonetheless, be forewarned since we are soon entering into the maddest days beginning with the New Year. In fact, many Rwandans celebrate the New Year than Christmas.
Why should we associate the days with evil? This is the time people are guided by emotions and sentiments to behave the way they would not have otherwise behaved.
They drive under the influence of alcohol and end up causing fatal accidents. Even the most sober man or woman, will this time go wrong.
“Last year, I almost killed all my family. I drunk too much and forgot that I was to drive my wife and children back home. As we were about to reach my house, we collided with another vehicle at a T- junction. Most of my children were badly hurt—a thing that made me look so stupid. It is very wrong to drive under the influence of alcohol-I knew this but I never cared,” laments James Karimba, a resident of Kicukiro-Kigali.
People have to know that they may be sober but meet a reckless drunken driver, who will put their lives into danger. The only way to avoid such scenarios is to go home before sunset, a thing very few will try. They go out, remain sober, only to end up crashing with the drunkards late at night.
Police records indicate that drunken driving is the main cause of deadly road accidents most especially during the festive season, as most people get excited.
Furthermore, the issue of evil comes in because celebrations mean spending money. So, what, happens is that every one will want to enjoy.
The poor or the lazy, feel that they have to celebrate. That is why robbers go on rampage, to steal and kill whoever comes their way.
Of course, there are others naturally obsessed with evil, who will try to capitalise on the situation to kill those they feel should not live above the ground.
All the above evils and others that may claim people’s lives demand vigilance from security organs. This is exactly what is happening today. Because of the high security alertness in the country, police registered very few cases of insecurity on Christmas Day.
“We are imposing strict punitive measures for violation of road safety rules and irresponsible road usage: for those who want to enjoy drinking should leave their vehicles at home or use drivers,” Robert Niyonshuti, head of traffic police was quoted saying recently.
Police had to postpone their celebrations or happiness, to save lives. The nature of their job demands serving the people before themselves.
The institutions however, that employ them must bear this in mind—that these security men and women, have to be remunerated, so that after the celebrations when people are sober and back to normal work, they are also given time to celebrate .
There is no doubt that this is catered for, but if it is not, then it is high time it started. Otherwise, we encourage our security organs to remain vigilant as we give them all the support they need to save lives.