The Zimbabwe Republic Police have identified two minors who were seen drinking alcohol on Christmas day in a video that went viral on Social Media.
In a statement, the police said the two minors, aged 13 and 11, come from a family where their parents have separated in November 2022. Following the separation, the children were reportedly in their mother’s custody in Epworth but later left home. It is alleged that they joined other “street kids” in the CBD to engage in begging, vending, and unspecified misdemeanours.
“Reference is made to the social media videos which went viral on 26th December 2023 showing minors drinking alcohol in Harare Central Business District and subsequent Police investigations into the incident.
“The Zimbabwe Republic Police reports that the identity of two minors aged 13 and 11 years is now known. Their mother and father have also been identified and located. The father and mother separated in November 2022 with the two minors being taken into the custody of their mother in Epworth area, Harare. It is alleged that they later left home and engaged in street begging, vending and some misdemeanours in Harare Central Business District with other “street kids,”
“On 25th December 2023, the two minors who were in the company of eight (08) street kids obtained Mayfair alcohol through a person who is yet to be identified by the Police. The minors sat on the veranda of a cellphone shop along Inez Terrez near a prominent food outlet. They consumed the alcohol openly in public.
“The Zimbabwe Republic Police has also identified a local business person who recorded the viral social media video. He is currently assisting the Police to get full facts on the incident,”reads the statement.
While details surrounding the incident are under investigation, the public display of underage alcohol consumption has raised concerns about child welfare and access to alcohol by minors.
Underage alcohol consumption carries significant health and legal risks. Drinking alcohol can stunt brain development, increase the risk of accidents and injuries, and contribute to addiction and other health problems.
Zimbabwean law prohibits the sale of alcohol to minors, and those caught consuming or purchasing alcohol underage may face penalties.