Man Sentenced to 24 Months Imprisonment for Selling Alcohol to Minors on Christmas Day

March 5, 2024
police document | Report Focus News
police document

A 23-year-old man from Mbare, Harare, who sold beer to children on Christmas Day last year was on Friday, 01 March found guilty of selling alcohol to persons under the age of 18 by the Harare Magistrates Court.

On December the 26th, 2023, a disturbing video circulated on social media showing underage children publicly drinking alcohol on the streets of Harare. The video prompted swift action from the police, leading to the arrest of a 23-year-old man, Phaeteon Mutiyaya, accused of providing alcohol to minors on Christmas Day. Mutiyaya has now been sentenced to 24 months in prison for his role in the incident.

Phaeteon Mutiyaya, operating a shebeen in Block 2C10, Nenyere Flats, Mbare, was taken into custody after the video surfaced. In a statement released by police spokesperson Paul Nyathi, Mutiyaya was confirmed to have supplied liquor to the minors involved in the incident. The police initially believed that some of the minors were street kids, but subsequent investigations revealed that all the identified minors resided in Nenyere Flats, Mbare.

Nine other minors, aged between 5 and 11, were identified in connection with the incident. These children, residing at Nenyere Flats, Mbare, used money received as Christmas presents to purchase alcohol. The investigation uncovered that the minors traveled from Mbare to the Harare Central Business District, where they joined the two minors from Epworth, Harare. Parents and guardians of the minors were located by the police during the course of the investigation.

In response to the incident, the police issued a stern warning to alcohol outlet operators, cautioning them against supplying or selling liquor to persons under the age of 18. Paul Nyathi emphasized that the police would enforce the Liquor Act rigorously and without hesitation. He stated that operators of shebeens or illegal liquor outlets would face the full force of the law.

In a significant development, the Harare Magistrates Court delivered a verdict on Friday, 01 March, finding Phaeteon Mutiyaya guilty of selling alcohol to persons under the age of 18. The court sentenced Mutiyaya to 24 months in prison for his role in providing alcohol to minors on Christmas Day. This decision reflects the commitment of the judicial system to address and penalize those who endanger the well-being of minors through the sale of prohibited substances.