Residents unite against drug abuse Learners from different schools and stakeholders from Kwekwe district march against drug and substance abuse recently

Tafadzwa Chibukwa, Chronicle Reporter

ENTUMBANE residents have united in the fight against drug and substance abuse in their community which is affecting mostly the youths.

Yesterday the residents held a drug  awareness campaign march and the participants took turns to speak out against the scourge that has taken hold in their suburb.

Last week, three suspected drug dealers, one of them an ex-police officer, were arrested following a raid at their houses in Entumbane suburb.

Pupils from various schools display wave placards against drug abuse during the anti- drugs march in Entumbane yesterday.

Police recovered marijuana, alcohol, weight gain tablets and cough syrup among other illicit substances. They also found pipes, which are used to inhale drugs, skin-lightening creams and plastic sachets, which are used to package drugs.

This comes a few weeks after 17 youths from the suburb were rushed to Ingutsheni Central Hospital after overdosing on crystal methamphetamine (meth).

The march was attended by pupils from several schools, residents and police.

Speaking after the march, residents said drugs were affecting the lives of their children.

Mrs Constance Mathuthuka said the vice needs to be addressed before it gets out of hand.

“What’s worrying is that our children have been turned ‘slaves of these drugs’ and are now strangers to us. These drugs are promoting stubbornness and criminal behaviours among the youths. At times, they’re seen making rounds at night and one wonders what time they go home or sleep,” said Mrs Mathuthuka.

She said such awareness campaigns should be held regularly to educate youths on the dangers of abusing drugs.

Some residents said there is a need to enforce radical measures to stop the youths from abusing drugs such as constantly raiding dealers.

Mrs Sihle Magasela said residents are aware of the suppliers of drugs and should report them to the police.

“What’s happening in our suburb is quite worrying and embarrassing. Where are we failing to provide as parents resulting in our children resorting to drug abuse? We know the people supplying these drugs to our children and I believe the responsibility falls in our hands to deal with this issue once and for all,” she said.

Mrs Magasela said parents cannot watch while the lives of their children are being wasted.

Another resident, Mrs Josephine Khumalo said it is the responsibility of parents to report the dealers to the police.

Entumbane High School headmaster, Mr Benjamin Mloyi implored parents to take the matter of drug and substance abuse seriously.

Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) spokesperson for Bulawayo Province, Inspector Abednico Ncube addresses pupils from various schools after the anti- drugs march in Entumbane yesterday.

“At times parents tend to put the blame on school authorities saying that the authorities are not doing their job to ensure school pupils refrain from drug abuse. 

“We are doing our best to educate the pupils on the dangers of drug abuse and our efforts need to be complemented by parents. Children are coming to school intoxicated which becomes a very big problem for teachers,” said Mr Mloyi.

In his address, Bulawayo police spokesperson Inspector Abednico Ncube said residents should work together to fight drug and substance abuse.

He commended the initiative by residents and police to have a march in the suburb which shows that the residents are concerned about the scourge.

“Such initiatives are crucial in fighting against drug and substance abuse. This shouldn’t be the only initiative but residents should continue to work hand in hand with the police to fight all forms of crime.

We want to commend the efforts by the community to report drug dealers to the police,” said Insp Ncube. -@Sagepapie14

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