BULAWAYO Provincial Affairs minister Judith Ncube has accused adults of lacing foodstuffs sold to pupils with drugs, which ended up affecting the children and interfering with their learning process.
BY SHARON SIBINDI/SILAS NKALA
She challenged parents to closely monitor their children to ensure that they were not abusing drugs and to instil discipline.
Speaking during the official opening of the Zimbabwe Anti- Corruption Commission’s office at Mhlahlandlela in Bulawayo on Monday, Ncube said she was disturbed by reports of high levels of drug abuse among pupils.
She said she had received reports that some schoolchildren were so daring that they even carried the drugs in their ties to school, which they would consume during break time and subsequently become delusional during lessons.
“I was saddened by what I was told that some schoolchildren put drugs inside their ties and come break time, they smoke and when they go back to the classroom, while being taught, they won’t be seeing a teacher, but a chick,” she said.
“They will be now having difficult times trying to fight the chick which they are seeing in front of them. The teacher then takes a position to just watch the child and you as parents continue paying fees for this child who sees the teacher as a chick.
“Most of you sell food and freezits to children and I am told that those who sell these food-stuffs spice them with drugs. You put in the drugs.”
She said the growing trend of drug abuse among young people in Bulawayo was worrisome because these had long-term effects on children.
Early this week, Women of Zimbabwe Arise members staged a protest march in high-density suburbs of Mpopoma and Entumbane against the distribution of illegal drugs to children which was reportedly rampant in the areas amid concerns those responsible were known by both the community and the law enforcement agents.
Woza leader Jennifer Williams said the demonstration started at Mpopoma’s D-Square and protesters moved to Yona Supermarket, Mthunzi and Nhliziyo shopping centres in Entumane before going to Zothile business centre.
She said they then went to the suspected drug dealer’s house where they chanted slogans and encouraged the law enforcement agents to deal with the suspects before heading to stage a protest at Entumbane Police Station.
Speaking during the protest at Entumbane Police Station, another Woza leader, Magodonga Mahlangu, said the police had a duty to protect children from drug abuse.
However, the police officers at the station advised that the suspected drug dealer who was being accused of selling drugs to children had already been arrested together with other members of his syndicate.