Emmanuel Hove Mhike
Drug dealers have invaded the rural areas of Zvishavane and connived with certain villagers to set up secret homestead drug selling bases, it can be revealed.
Drug abuse has become rampant in rural areas contrary to the popular opinion that it is confined to urban areas only.
One concerned parent who refused to be identified in fear of victimisation by drug dealers said some local villagers have become part of the drug dealers because they have agreed to turn their homesteads into secret ‘Shabeens’.
“Drug dealers are coming to our villages, making drug deals with people who illegally sell beer. It seems the drug business is doing well for them because the ‘base’ owners are making fortunes. It is sad to note that besides our unemployed magweja (gold panners) school-going children have adopted this lifestyle while considering it fashionable,” said the parent.
Addressing mourners gathered in Gwanyanya village on Sunday, Headman Marozva bemoaned the lack of community cooperation in reporting drug dealers and their agents to local leadership.
“We are seeing an abomination in our society. You see a primary school-going kid taking drugs and shouting unprintable words towards elders. We know there is a chain where drug providers are coming from towns and delivering drugs within our villages. The culprits are known to you but you do not report them or give us a tip. This is destroying our youths and children’s future so let us expose and shame these social outcasts,” he said.
Drug abuse is destroying all the efforts and prospects towards youth empowerment in Zimbabwe. President Emerson Mnangagwa recently launched an anti-drug abuse campaign in Harare. Community-based organizations and Development Practitioners are calling for real youth empowerment and a change of focus from town-centered campaigns to rural anti-drug abuse initiatives and investigations.