The Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association (BPRA) has launched a campaign against vuzu parties and substance abuse following a spate of wild orgies involving mostly teenagers.
The parties are characterised by alcohol binging, casual sex and drug abuse.
BPRA coordinator Emmanuel Ndlovu told CITE that the campaign’s aim is to get people talking about the scourge and proffer solutions to the social vice.
Ndlovu said that they have also invited various institutions to take part in the cause.
“We have written to the minister of state Bulawayo Metropolitan, the officer commanding Police Bulawayo, youth organizations, the Council of Churches and many other stakeholders,” said Ndlovu.
BPRA said that the vuzu parties and substance abuse are complex problems that require decisive and collective action if the goal of creating a drug free-Bulawayo is to be achieved.
“This is a clarion call for us all to augment each other’s efforts in controlling the youths and policing the city’s streets, providing guidance and counselling to our school going teenagers on vuzu parties and drug abuse,” said Ndlovu.
“This can be achieved through screening and preventing them from entering beer drinking places, stop transporting teenagers and youths to venues where such immoral acts are done, drugging and using them for political expediency.”
The association called on the Bulawayo residents to put to an end the vuzu parties which they said are eroding the fabric of Ubuntu amongst youths in Bulawayo.
“We urge the community to provide guidance to their children and mould them into responsible citizens.”
Over the past five years, vuzu parties have taken Bulawayo youth by storm while hundreds of young people have been arrested by police during raids.
Meanwhile, some residents said that lack of recreational centres is the major driver of vuzu parties and substance abuse.
“Vuzu parties have become a nightmare and their sprouting can be attributed to lack of youth facilities where young people can be productive,” said one resident Simbiso Ncube.
“Our youth facilities are driving youths away because they are obsolete and those that are still functional are not up to date with what the youths need.
Another resident said that the youths have evolved especially with the advent of social media.
“There is a need for the Bulawayo City Council (BCC) and the government to invest in technology because the current youth facilities are not attracting this younger generation, which is why they are choosing Vuzu parties and drugs,” Nompilo Mhlanga.