IN a disturbing development, the only recreational park in the heart of Gweru has now turned into a place for drug abusers to openly conduct their nefarious business.
The recreational park is supposed to be a place where residents can peacefully relax, breathe fresh air, while lovers and others that need peace sit enjoying the aesthetic value of the park.
In previous years, photographers used to earn a living through taking pictures of lovers and people that thronged the park, but this has since stopped as it has lost its aesthetic value.
The park is situated right between Gweru Town House and the Gweru Military Museum, a place of significant historical value to the country.
Sadly, it seems that city authorities have now neglected this once beautiful recreational facility as it is now swamped by idle youths, and those seeking short-term blow-out.
Bins have not been collected for a while and piles of garbage are all over the park.
The garbage is mostly empty beer bottles, containers of the illicit Zed, Bronclear cough mixture, glue and other stimulants.
Council spokesperson Vimbai Chingwaramusee says it is difficult for council to control people’s behaviours.
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“As a local authority, there is nothing much we can do to control people’s behaviours. We have set up the park for people to relax and we have bad cases of people ill-abusing the park.
“We always have our security guards checking all the mischief and, at times, some of the people are chased away from the park. But there is nothing much we can do to control people’s behaviour. We encourage the youths to safeguard their future. We encourage them to take care of themselves and run away from abusing drugs,” she said.
“In some cases, we actually report them to the police whenever we see people getting out of hand.”
She did not explain why the council had neglected to maintain the park.
Midlands police spokesperson Inspector Emmanuel Mahoko said on several occasions, police have issued stern warnings to youths that swamp the park during the day and night for illicit drug activities.
“As police, we need to have that information on our desks so that we conduct investigations and go after the perpetrators who are into such activity of supplying drugs,” he said.
“As for these children who are indulging in drugs and other social ills, we need to find more on their doings, and check up on the times they are found in the park so that we can follow after them as the police.”
However, it still remains to be seen if the authorities in Midlands province will act on the drug problem that is affecting not only Gweru, but young people all over the country.