Leaders ban children from social functions beyond 6pm

Friday November 15 2019

Event.  Parents and children at a recent party

Event. Parents and children at a recent party in Kalungu Sub-county, Kalungu District. Leaders in Kalungu have resolved to restrict the time children spend at social gatherings. PHOTO BY NSUBUGA MUZA 

By MUZAFARU NSUBUGA & DAN WANDERA

Leaders from 69 villages in Kalungu Sub-county, Kalungu District have resolved to restrict the time children spend at social gatherings to 6pm.
Children often form the biggest percentage of the population at many social functions, especially in rural settings.
The leaders argue that children’s morals have been compromised and wrong elements have taken advantage of such gatherings to either kidnap or sexually abuse them.
They say children are exposed to acts such as use of bad language, drinking alcohol and indecent dressing, among others, that happen in late hours of parties.
Mr Willy Ssenyondo, the head of Kalungu Sub-county LC1 chairpersons, while chairing a meeting attended by the 69 leaders on Monday, said the proposal to ban children from attending social functions beyond 6pm was timely and one of the ways through which the leaders can help parents nurture their children into responsible citizens.
“It is good that we are coming up with this important resolution as leaders to protect our children from the bad practices they copy from the social functions. We are all parents and want our children to grow up with the right cultural norms and character,” he said.
He added: “It is our obligation as leaders to guard children from the bad behaviour that they get exposed to while attending some of the social functions. We need to act now.”
The Kalungu leaders explained that children have the right to attend social functions in the company of their parents and guardians but are opposed to the hours they spent at the functions.
Among the social functions that the leaders want the children attendance restricted include last funeral rites, graduation, introduction ceremonies, weddings, music shows, disco dances and political rallies.
Mr Enock Ssembusi, one of the village chairpersons, claimed that unlike other regions where the parents still hold their children accountable and restrict their movements, parents in central (Buganda) region have taken less care. Some of the leaders had suggested that the children be denied food that probably attracts many of them to particular functions.
“We have parents who are invited as husband and wife but decide to take the children simply because they want them to eat some food. But denying children the opportunity to eat food will amount to selfishness. We should stick to our resolution to have the children attendance at the functions restricted to 6pm,” Mr Ssenyondo explained.
The Kalungu Sub-county chairperson, Mr Joseph Leo Kizito, appealed to parents to take the resolutions seriously.
“We shall start arresting children found in such places at the wrong hours. I also appeal to the village chairpersons to register all parents who have refused to take children to school,” Mr Kizito said.
Mr Richard Kyabagu, the Kalungu District LC5 chairperson, welcomed the resolution by the leaders.
“Our children should not get spoilt. You find children going to the markets during class hours in company of the parents while many attend open music shows where their character is corrupted,” Mr Kyabagu told the Daily Monitor on Wednesday.
Mr John Sseguja, a children rights activist working with Concern for Child Development and Welfare Initiative, argued that restricting the hours children spend at event is a healthy move that does not amount to any violation of the child rights.

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