Mpumelelo Nyoni, Chronicle Reporter
POLICE have arrested 40 rowdy youths who went on the rampage in Bulawayo’s CBD following a drinking binge over the weekend.
Scores of under-age children flocked to various drinking spots in the city centre from last Friday, a day after the first term of school ended.
Those who were denied entry into nightspots were seen loitering and drinking alcohol forcing the deployment of anti-riot police to disperse them. Popular nightspot, Club Vista, was seemingly the epicentre of the disturbances. The club was forced to call the police to restore order.
Bulawayo Metropolitan provincial police spokesperson Chief Inspector Precious Simango confirmed the incident yesterday.
She said youths who were arrested in the CBD were charged with disorderly conduct.
“I confirm the arrest of 40 youths whose ages range between 21 and 24 years of age at Club Vista for disorderly conduct. We have since engaged the club’s management and reached a compromise”, said Chief Insp Simango.
She warned youths against engaging in misconduct, adding that police would be closely monitoring their behaviour before, during and after the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair.
Chief Insp Simango said police are ready to pounce on anyone caught on the wrong side of the law and urged parents to assist police in monitoring their children.
“We are also appealing to parents to assist in monitoring the behaviour of their children. They are responsible for their children so parents must make sure they are not out at night,” said Chief Insp Simango.
Mr Qhubani Moyo, the Club Vista owner denied allegations circulating on social media that the nightspot allowed entry to under-age youths over the weekend.
He said they are the ones who called the police.
“Vista management is the one that called police to report a case of disorderly conduct outside our premises. The police arrived with dogs and children were arrested along 8th Avenue,” said Mr Moyo.
He said Club Vista follows a strict screening process as right of admission is reserved to people over 18 years of age and are presentable.
“As Club Vista management, we are not responsible for what happens outside the club. We blocked under-age children from entering our premises and some were ferried to the ground floor of the building in commuter omnibuses and some were even selling and consuming alcohol. Disturbances occurred on the ground floor of the building, not inside the club,” said Mr Moyo.
Youth delinquency in Bulawayo has been on the increase since the rise of the infamous “Vuzu” parties which gained popularity in Bulawayo in 2015.
These illicit parties involve alcohol bingeing, casual sex and drug abuse, putting young people at the risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases.