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Parents cautioned over child neglect

Police has warned parents against abandoning their parental responsibilities noting that this is a form of child abuse and denial of their rights which is punishable by the law.

The warning follows various cases where parents have abandoned their children either at home or on streets.

On Monday, a Police night patrol in Gatsata Sector, Gasabo District found a four-year old girl, apparently abandoned by her mother at Gatsata Sector offices.

The girl was found with a hand-written note which read, “That’s how far I managed to reach.”

Supt. Emmanuel Hitayezu, Police spokesperson for the City of Kigali, condemned the act noting that the “responsibilities of parents stand even in bad situations.”

“The child was sheltered by a local leaders who stays in the nearby and the mother was located and arrested the following morning,” Supt. Hitayezu said.

Meanwhile, the mother argued that she had run out of means to take care of her child noting that the biological father had also neglected his responsibilities.

“The failure of the father to do his duties doesn’t mean that you also abandon the child, and to the worst extent, on streets in the middle of the night. It’s better you lodge matters to concerned authorities for immediate action instead of putting the life of the innocent child at risk,” he said.

“The mistake of parents should not be paid by the children.”

Under article 231 of the panel code, a parent or guardian who abandons or causes to be abandoned, neglects or causes to be neglected a child in an open place and is found, shall be liable to a term of imprisonment of two to five years and a fine of Rwf20, 000 to Rwf100, 000.


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