Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Reporter
POLICE in Bulawayo have warned teenagers against convening the infamous underground Vuzu parties and abusing drugs after schools closed on Thursday as they risk being arrested.
The police said they will take drastic action against drug peddlers and will be conducting surveillance on those supplying teenagers with dangerous substances.
It has become common that during school holidays, teenagers and other school leavers hold the parties at which they abuse drugs while indulging in risky sexual behaviour.
Bulawayo police spokesperson, Chief Inspector Precious Simango, yesterday said police were on high alert to address social misfits during the holiday.
“The Zimbabwe Republic Police Bulawayo province would like to conscientise members of the public on the dangers and effects of Vuzu parties where school going children, youths and school leavers meet and abuse drugs and alcohol while indulging in sexual activities,” said Chief Insp Simango.
“As police we will deploy police officers to monitor youth activities in and around the city to try and deter them from organising and taking part in Vuzu parties. At these parties some indulge in group sex thereby exposing themselves to sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancies.”
She said police have already received information that there were certain individuals planning to hold and host Vuzu parties.
“The ZRP will not hesitate to arrest and take to court all offenders especially those who organise the Vuzu parties and those who supply alcohol and drugs to the children,” said Chief Insp Simango.
She said the Vuzu parties problem could only be addressed if society at large also gets involved in trying to stop the growing problem.
“We appeal to parents to take a keen interest in the friends their children associate with as well as their whereabouts. Furthermore, what they bring in and take out of the house in their bags and satchels as it is believed that the intoxicating substances will be stashed in their bags and satchels. In the same vein, we call upon parents to consider proper parenting to avoid embarrassment and not leave the duty to the police,” said Chief Insp Simango.
“The ZRP also appeals to other organisations and community leaders to work with the police in this fight to end Vuzu parties as it is creating moral decadency among the youths.”
When schools closed for the first term in April this year, police arrested 131 rowdy youths in Bulawayo in an operation that saw law enforcement agents also confiscating alcohol and sex enhancing pills from teenagers headed to Vuzu parties where they engage in risky unprotected group sex. Police said those arrested were aged between 14 and 24 years.
Forty-nine more were arrested on the last day of the 60th edition of the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair in April.
Their arrest was followed by that of 40 others aged between 15 and 25 years on the first Saturday after schools closed in August.
Young people in Bulawayo have developed a tradition of going on the rampage in the city centre on the first Saturday after schools close and the last Saturday before a new school term begins. — @nqotshili