Anti-drugs protest. . .Placard-waving residents besiege police station
By Kudzai Chikiwa
Scores of residents yesterday demonstrated at Entumbane Police Station in Bulawayo against drug dealers who are allegedly selling drugs to their children in the suburb.
The slogan-chanting residents waved placards with messages urging the police to arrest culprits.
“Police please do your job, investigate, arrest and prosecute culprits,” read some of the placards.
The Chronicle caught up with residents during the demonstration and they claimed the main culprit is a 39-year-old, popularly known as MaHadebe but police said they have no incriminating evidence against her.
They said she has been selling drugs including dagga and broncho, a potent cough mixture commonly known as ngoma, to their children for years.
One of the residents, only identified as sekaMduduzi accused police of turning a blind eye to maHadebe’s alleged drug dealing.
“She’s now an expert at this. She has been doing it for over four years and has infiltrated most of the western suburbs. Residents have been complaining about her but nothing is being done. She’s selling dagga, those pink pills and ngoma. We suspect that she has connections with the police,” said sekaMduduzi.
Another fuming resident who only identified himself as Moyo, said: “Everyone knows she sells drugs. She is destroying the future of our children. Over the years we’ve engaged the police but nothing has come out of it. She’s killing our children and stealing their future.”
Ward 10 Bulawayo Progressive Residents’ Association (BPRA) chairman Mr Peter Sadza said Entumbane has become an epicentre of drug dealing which has hugely affected teenagers and school children.
“We are worried about the high rate of drug dealing in our area. They sell drugs to our teenagers especially girls who end up being uncontrollable. After taking these drugs they act strangely. Drug dealing steals the future of our children and we are saying no to such cruel activities,” he said.
Bulawayo Provincial Police Spokesperson Chief Inspector Simango said police are aware of drug dealings at Entumbane.
She said police at several times carry raids at the homes of suspects and arrest culprits.
“We are aware of drug dealers in the suburb. Residents allege that maHadebe sells drugs but we have not gathered evidence against her. Most of the times when we raid her place, her tenants claim that they are the owners of drugs that we find and we arrest them. Since we have not yet gathered solid evidence against her, we cannot arrest her on simple grounds of accusation,” said Chief Insp Simango.
Chief Insp Simango urged the community to join police in fighting illegal drug dealers.
“I am calling on everyone to participate in fighting against this problem. It is not a sole responsibility of the police but parents and guardians have an important role to play too.
“Why would you let your child take drugs? People should discipline their children and make sure they do not indulge in illegal activities. At the end the life of our kids are affected,” she said.
Chief Insp Simango warned young people against taking drugs and said they must be principled enough to resist if they are offered.
In 2016 police arrested maHadebe, her husband, their son and three other accomplices after they caught them in possession of drugs during raids.
She was fined $60 after pleading guilty to illegal possession of 40g of dagga.
The raids followed a story in The Chronicle that detailed how three pupils from Msiteli High School nearly died and were admitted to Mpilo Central Hospital after taking pink pills which MaHadebe had allegedly sold to them at $1 for 10.
On Friday, a police officer from Bulawayo undergoing disciplinary action for allegedly deserting the force was arrested with his wife and three others for running a drug cartel that reportedly sold dangerous substances to clients that include school children.
Police recovered about 5kg of dagga, 420x100ml of Adco-Salterpyn Cough Syrup and Bron Cleer Cough Syrup including about 300 Diazepam tablets following a raid at the cop’s home on Friday. The Chronicle