BULAWAYO church leaders have called on all stakeholders to join forces in providing socio-psychological support to youths amid reports that three suicide deaths have been recorded in the city over the past two months.
BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
Last week, a student from Bulawayo Polytechnic College allegedly committed suicide by throwing himself into Enkwalini, also known as the pool of death, following a misunderstanding with his mother.
On October 12, a Grade Six pupil at Mckeurtan Primary School allegedly committed suicide by hanging himself from a tree.
Last month, a Form Two pupil at Townsend High School allegedly hung herself at her parents’ home in Sunninghill suburb following a domestic dispute.
An official from Ecumenical Church Leaders Forum who is responsible for peace building, Sikhalo Cele, said most youths have lost hope in the future, hence the increase in suicide cases.
“Socially, children are heartbroken. They are not at peace within themselves. The social system that used to groom children has collapsed. There is also economic meltdown. As such, parents are finding it difficult to take care of their kids. As a result, children grow up frustrated and bitter,” Cele said.
“Before anybody dies, hope dies first. Once hope dies, the person dies also. Therefore, those economic, political, social issues have left our children angry and bitter. Their hopes have been shuttered,” he said.
Brethren in Christ Church Lobengula pastor, Albert Ndlovu, said: “There is need for family building because they have disintegrated.”
“We need to have open dialogue about the challenges that we are facing as a country. Accusations and counter-accusations won’t bring any change,” he said.
Educationists said there was need for schools to up psycho-social support as well as counselling.
Social commentator and cleric, Kilton Moyo, said some of the suicide cases were triggered by spiritual forces.
“It has to do with family and parenting altogether. Families are no longer a grooming ground for children. We need to speak against suicide and there must be a public outcry. We need to educate young children that suicide does not solve any problem,” Moyo said.
Moyo said parents should discipline their children at a tender age and when there is still hope.
“The whole thing revolves around family. How dedicated and diligence are we to the discipline of our kids? Discipline a child when there is hope,” he said.