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Drug abuse rocks Dominican Convent High School, 8 girls expelled

The scourge of drug abuse and peddling has rocked the Catholic run Dominican Convent High School in Harare with reports suggesting eight girls had been expelled on Wednesday after being found with crystal meth, vape and weed, among others.

The headmistress at the school Sister Kudzai Mutsure confirmed the developments and said the expelled girls had been found guilty by the school’s disciplinary committee.

Trouble began during a a leadership camp held from January 12 to 15 in Nyanga in which it is alleged “senior students were caught red-handed using drugs at their camp at Troutbeck Inn, and when their bags were searched, more drugs were found.”

“My heart aches for these girls and their parents, but my duty of care is to ensure that the school environment is, as far as is practicable, safe and free from all risks,” Sister Kudzai said.

“I have a responsibility to the whole school community and possessing, using or supplying a restricted substance, including vaping is not acceptable. Investigations are still ongoing and we will not hesitate to weed out any more culprits to sanitise the school space.

“I pray that the girls will receive the rehabilitation they need and that all parents take an active role, in partnership with the school, to modify the inappropriate behaviour of their children.

“I believe that school officials’ efforts to protect students from the dangers of substance abuse are sometimes hampered by parents and community members in denial about the pervasiveness of the problem and the potential for any child to succumb to the lures of drugs.

“I appeal to parents to be more vigilant and active by refining their parenting skills and being aware of their children’s activities as our investigations show that the pervasive behaviour started at home. I will keep you posted on any further developments,” she said.

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National police spokesperson, Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi also confirmed that only after the statement from the school did detectives visit the premises to investigate.

“Police have learnt from social media about the case involving drugs found in possession of students. The school never lodged a police report against those found in possession of the said drugs.

“Investigations with a view to establish sources of the drugs, types of the drugs, current state at the school and where the school authorities placed the drugs has begun. More details will be released in due course,” he said.

Only last week former ZBC news anchor Oscar Pambuka said it was pointless to point fingers at consumers of drugs when powerful political elites in Zanu PF were behind their smuggling into the country and enjoying protection from arrest and prosecution.

“The issue of drugs needs a holistic approach. It’s not about the youths only, adults are also abusing drugs. Alcoholism is also a problem. So, when we talk about drugs, we must not act like we only want to arrest the youths. We should help them because they are mentally challenged.

“It’s wrong to say Zimdancehall is a haven of drug abuse. No. Drugs are used by everyone including those in businesses and transport. So, the nation needs to address it from the root where these drugs are coming from, rather than addressing customers.”

He added: “You need to ask yourself these questions, who is behind mutoriro in this country? How is it getting into the country?

“The country has 16 million people. Perhaps those buying drugs are 1 million. How then do you arrest 1 million people? Let’s arrest the person bringing those drugs. That is what I believe,” Pambuka added.