Police have arrested a University lecturer for allegedly neglecting and locking his children inside the house before going to drink binge.
The 43-year-old, Yves Kamali, lecturer from University of Rwanda (UR), Nyagatare campus, Eastern Province is alleged to lock children in the house for three days – January 11- 13.
About two days inside, the two boys aged 12 and 9 respectively broke a glass of the window and called their neighbor for help.
The neighbor who gave them food through the window informed police, which started to look for Kamali and was found in the bar drinking and was arrested.
“Yesterday, I waited for him to come and unlock the house. But he didn’t and until late at night he was nowhere to be seen. I decided to inform the police because children were in danger,” the neighbor told the media.
Upon arrest, Kamali said that he had lost the keys.
According to Dr. Thierry B. Murangira, Rwanda Investigation Bureau (RIB) Spokesperson, it has been a year since Kamali divorced his wife. After separation, Kamali took up responsibilities to take care of the children.
The suspect is detained at Nyagatare RIB station pending investigation into the matter.
According to Official Gazette no.37 bis of 10/09/2018, article 28, harassing a child or imposing severe punishments on him/ her without prejudice to heavier penalties provided for by other laws, a person who harasses a child or imposes severe or degrading punishments including corporal sanctions on him/her, commits an offence.
This article says upon conviction, he/she is liable to imprisonment for a term of not less than two (2) years and not more than three (3) years, and a fine of not less than two hundred thousand Rwandan francs (Rwf 200,000) and not more than three hundred thousand Rwandan francs (Rwf300,000).
However, if the offence results in the child’s disability, the penalty is imprisonment for a term of not less than seven (7) years and not more than ten (10) years, and a fine of not less than one million Rwandan francs (Rwf1,000,000) and not more than two million Rwandan francs (Rwf2,000,000), according to the law.
“It is not allowed for a parent to violate child rights, or neglect them,” Dr. Murangira added.
He pointed out that the neighbor is taking care of these children as they are waiting to be handed over to their mother.
Article 32 of the same law says neglecting parental or guardian obligations without a cause A parent, a guardian or any other person legally responsible for the child who, without reasonable cause, neglects any of his/her obligations provided by law to the extent that the health, the security and the living conditions of the child are seriously jeopardized or the child indulges in vagrancy commits an offence.
Upon conviction, he/she is liable to community services for a period not more than one (1) month. In case of recidivism, the penalty is a term of imprisonment for a term of not less than two (2) months and not more than six (6) months, with a fine of not less than five hundred thousand Rwandan francs (Rwf 500,000) and not more than one million Rwandan francs (Rwf1,000,000) or one of these penalties only.