By Thupeyo Muleya
A group of youths here has voiced concern over the increase in cases of drugs and substance abuse and peddling in the border town.
In separate interviews, leaders of four different youth initiatives – Ufharana, Khonani Dzavhudi, Fhathalamatshelo and Youth Against Drugs – called on the police and the judiciary to deal with the drug peddlers.
They said the worst victims were people aged between 14 and 45 years and that the drugs dealers were so daring to the extent of recruiting schoolchildren from local secondary schools as their middlemen.
Ufharana chairperson Mr Kudakwashe Garaipasi said the abuse of drugs by the youth in the district had reached alarming levels.
“We have roped in a number of stakeholders including the police, Government departments, non-governmental organisations and community groups to spread the anti-drug awareness word. The most commonly abused drugs include crystal meth, droshky, Diazepam, cocaine, glue, marijuana (mbanje) bron-cleer and embalming powder.
“The issue of drug peddling and substance has become a social problem, which affects everyone although the youth are the worst victims. We have been running a number of programmes around Beitbridge to counter the increase in drugs abuse that in some cases result in fatalities.
“This time we have come together with several youth initiatives to redouble our efforts in fighting this scourge,” he said.
Khonani Dzavhudi’s programme coordinator, Miss Princes Mbedzi, said they were working with other organisations to promote behaviour change through activities such as sports, arts and culture in both the town and rural components of Beitbridge district.
Fhathalamatshelo Youth Trust spokesperson Mr Mugove Chasauka said it was high time the whole community comes together in fighting drugs and substance abuse, considering that most of the drug lords were known.The Herald.