THE video of a pupil who appears to be drunk from substance abuse has opened a can of worms on substance abuse particularly by youngsters in Bulawayo’s Old Lobengula suburb.
In the video which is five minutes and 41 seconds long the boy who is a pupil at a local primary school reveals that he takes drugs with his peers.
He also reveals he and his peers buy drugs from a drug peddler named Jasi who lives a stone throw from his home.
B-Metro visited the suburb and spoke to residents and they revealed that drug abuse by youngsters had become a cause for concern and headache to parents in the suburb.
Timothy Ncube said: “We are facing a huge problem in the suburb. A number of our children are abusing drugs causing them to abscond from school. Some have become a nuisance in the suburb as they steal money to buy drugs and they no longer respect elders.”
An official at the school said they were facing challenges because some of the pupils abused drugs within school premises.
“There are some pupils who have become a headache to the school authorities as they bring drugs to school and take them in the closets. After that they become difficult to control. One of the pupils was caught with a knife and crystal methamphetamine, commonly known as mutoriro, dombo or guka, said the school official.
The official added: “The school is taking necessary measures to put the situation under control but mischievous pupils always find a way of smuggling drugs into the school and that is why that pupil who is on that video managed to sneak into the school premises with substances of abuse.”
Kirien Moyo laid the blame on police officers.
“We have reported the drug peddlers to the police but they have not stopped peddling drugs and it seems they have protection from the police.
We report them to the police, officers take them to the police station but after a few hours they will be back continuing with their drug peddling business as if nothing had happened,” said Moyo.
Another resident who refused to be named said: “We are living in fear of being attacked by the runners of the drug dealers. I reported them to the police, after that they confronted me accusing me of being a sellout and they threatened to kill me. Now I’m afraid of them because I believe they are working in cahoots with high profile people.”
The grandmother of the pupil said she was at a loss for words as to what to do about her grandson.
Sadness, disgust, and fear — all rolled into one burning emotion — engulfed her as she tried to explain the harrowing situation she had endured at the hands of her grandson.
“This child is an orphan. I’m the one who is responsible for him. I have tried to counsel him and reprimand him so that he could change from his bad behaviour, instead of reforming he has become worse. This is troubling me a lot. I have even approached police officers from the Victim Friendly Unit (VFU) and they advised me to enlist the services of a professional counsellor. I will have to do that because there is nothing I can do. He is my child,” said the dejected looking woman.
She said she survives on vending and realises enough to pay bills and buy food.
“Some people think I give him a lot of money but it’s not true because I’m a vendor and I realise enough to pay bills, buy food and pay for his school fees,” she said.
Efforts to locate Jasi were fruitless and the news crew met five youngsters at the gate of his home who said he went into hiding after the video of the said pupil went viral.