Chivhu town grapples with drug and substance abuse

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By Archford Chirimudombo

MARONDERA- As the police intensify campaigns against drugs and substance abuse, it has since emerged that Chivhu town is one of the hotspots for bronclear, dagga and illicit beers.
Officer Commanding police Chivhu district Chief Superintendent Phillip Nyateka revealed this when he addressed scores of people at an event to raise awareness on the dangers that come with drug abuse under the theme: “Siyanai Nezvinodhaka, Say No to Drug Abuse, Tshiyani okudakayo.

He said: “Singling out Chivhu location community for the anti-drug awareness campaign is commended given that we have had many victims of drug abuse here, perhaps more than anywhere else in Mashonaland East province. We had a number of drug related deaths recorded in the district and most of them are concentrated in Chivhu urban.

“As we mourn several people whom we have lost to the vice, our thoughts and prayers are with their kids, spouses and relatives who were left fatherless, motherless and without spouses as the vice strangles the social fabric of our beloved society. So sad indeed. Chivhu location shops, and Garwe stadium have also been lately identified as hotspots of bronclear, or Bronco in street lingo, Mbanje and illicit beer sales.”

Chief Superintendent Nyateka revealed that statistics from the Ministry of Health and Child Care indicate that one in three mental patients admitted at mental health institutions in the country are there as a result of abusing drugs.
“We should be collectively committed to seeing an end to drug-abuse related crime, violence, road carnage, sicknesses and deaths. We are sick and tired of witnessing people dying before their time, hopes being shattered, families being torn apart, and you can name the rest, all because of drug abuse.
“Again, our Ministry of Health and Child Care, mental health department has it on good grounds that at least one third of mental patients held in our mental health institutions countrywide are there because of drug abuse,” he said.

Pastor Makoni Goredema who represented the church fraternity hailed the campaign, saying it go a long way in helping to stem out the vice in Chivhu.
“These campaigns against drugs and substance abuse are vital as they help the youths and all those who abuse drugs to come to their senses. This collaborative effort is key. As the church, we provide counselling to victims of drug abuse while the police arrest those who deal in the dangerous drugs,” he said.

Child Member of Parliament for Chikomba Central Daisy Kasanzu who learns at Liebenberg High School urged youths to shun youths and turn over a new leaf.
“Life is short and we must live it to the fullest. Shun abusing drugs as they affects those who abuse them physically and emotionally,” she said.
In its report titled Mental Health Among Young People In African Region, the World Health Organisation says Zimbabwe has the highest number of 15 to 19-year-olds in Africa who engage in heavy episodic alcohol drinking, at 70.7 percent among males and 55.5 percent among females.

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