THE Inspector General of Police has warned of the risk of a wasted generation if society does not stand up and protect youngsters from wasting their lives away in alcohol, drugs and other vices.
He was addressing journalists on Saturday at the Police headquarters in Kacyiru while releasing underage children – who had been rounded up during a previous night swoop in Kigali – to their parents.
The Friday night operation was the second in a week, with both resulting in the arrest of the bar owners and managers where minors were found drinking alcoholic beverages in the wee hours of the night, and, in the earlier case, some also smoking Shisha.
It is unfortunate that some bar owners and managers continue to sell alcohol to underage patrons in complete disregard of the law. But even more regrettable is that some parents and guardians do not care to know the whereabouts of their underage children, a situation that puts the future of these teens at a great risk.
These are practices that should never be tolerated by any member of a progressive society, more so one that prides itself on caring for and empowering young people with what it takes to take full charge of their future.
While police should be commended and encouraged to conduct more of these operations and arrest those behind such vices for eventual accountability before the courts of law, parents and guardians who allow their underage children to go on a drinking spree anywhere or do little to discourage such practices, should be censored by their neighbours and the general public.
There are some people with a reputation of not following up on their children’s behaviour and lifestyle during schooldays but showing the same attitude during holidays is simply catastrophic to say the least.
The public should simply not tolerate such irresponsible parenting and must speak out against those who put the future of the young generation in jeopardy.
For instance, if you are in a bar and there is a teenager on the next table, you should not hesitate to censure the elders in their company and the bar managers, as well as alert authorities.
This is a matter of national concern and everyone must show concern and help reverse the trend.