ZVISHAVANE – Chief Mapanzure has raised concern over teenage boys aged around 15 years who have become a menace at drinking spots as regular customers.
Chief Mapanzure said this at an inception meeting at Runde Lodge on Wednesday which was hosted by Bethany Projects.
He highlighted that the underaged boys are mainly found at Nyama Business Centre where even shop owners do not care about age restrictions but just sell beer to the kids for the love of money.
He blamed easy access to liquor for the rampant drug and other substance abuse by the youths and said despite measures taken by the authorities, the situation is worsening day by day, especially with the opening of shebeens which have become a cause for concern.
“These days there is no difference between Bottle stores and shebeens, there are laws that govern this but they are not being implemented hence in areas such as Nyama 15-year-olds are now regular customers and the age is no longer the matter as money is what businesses are concerned with which is now a crisis that requires immediate attention,” he said.
His counterpart Chief Mafala said that he is facing a similar issue, especially in Ward 19.
“The emergence of shebeens has brought about no limitations to drug access, if not controlled we will just have to accept that the next generation is drug-sustained, they live by drinking”, he said.
Zvishavane administrative officer, Rodwell Mtetwa said the issue is more behavioural which is now a challenge.
” There is a common trend in Zimbabwe of liquor hubs they are always open hence easy accessibility to alcohol every day to anyone hence there is a need to incorporate social justices into laws as it is more of our behaviour that is exacerbating the problem”, he said.