By Sharon Chimenya
WHILE cases of drug and substance abuse have been prevalent among youths, Masvingo City Council, has not been spared from vice.
The local authority is dealing with at least three pending disciplinary cases of members of the municipal police, who failed to show up for work due to alcohol and substance abuse.
According to a report of the Town Clerk, Engineer Edward Mukaratirwa, in the minutes of the Health, Housing and Environmental Services Committee, the local authority has hired a psychiatric specialist and recommended that workers with problems be referred for rehabilitation.
“It was reported that there were three pending disciplinary cases for municipal police officers for absenteeism induced by alcohol and substance abuse. The Committee highlighted the need for the local authority to install breathalysers for monitoring drug abuse by council employees, and assessment by the council health experts as well as rehabilitation of addicted employees,” said a recommendation of the Committee.
The Town Clerk reported that alcoholism and addiction was becoming a huge challenge, but council was making efforts to address the development. He recommended the recruitment of a psychiatric nurse, while some employees with addiction problems were recommended for rehabilitation.
The committee proposed that the municipal police officers be subjected to a parade for His Worship the Mayor to conduct an inspection before the Full Council meeting or once a month.
Eng Mukaratirwa said that the office of the Human Resources would try to detect those with alcohol and substance abuse problems before it becomes a crisis.
“He noted that the Human Resources Office would make routine awareness in sections to identify employees with such problems before it degenerates into a crisis.
“Members also noted that shebeens were now becoming a hive of alcohol and drug abuse, which should be reported to the police. On procurement of breathalysers, it was reported that the requisitions were made,” read the report.