AT least 47% of teenagers in Bulawayo are active participants in popular wild parties commonly known as vuzu, where dangerous drugs, alcohol abuse and sex competitions are held, a survey has indicated.
The all-teenage weekend house parties have taken the city by storm and this year alone hundreds of youths have been arrested by the police for attending the illegal gatherings, which are fuelled by drugs, sex and alcohol abuse.
A survey by Active Youth Zimbabwe in conjunction with Drug Free World – Zimbabwe seen by Southern Eye – indicates that a majority of youth, who engaged in sex orgies at the parties regret afterwards.
“[A total of] 47,3% of teenagers aged 15-19 years are reported to be involved in wild parties, where they abuse dangerous drugs, alcohol and perform sex competitions (which they later regret)
“Teens and youth told us that they take alcohol to relieve stress, due to social and economic hardships and to enjoy themselves,” reads part of the report for the month of September.
The report indicates that Makokoba, Entumbane, Njube, Egodini and Pumula were the top five prime spots for substance abuse.
“Mbanje is the most frequently used illegal drug in Bulawayo province, especially in the high density suburbs and central business district.
“Alcohol is the second abused drug, especially spirits, followed by broncleer, while cocaine is highly abused in the low density suburbs,” reads part of the report.
Statistics from the Primary and Secondary Education ministry statistics indicate that in 2014-2015 alone 310 students were nabbed for drug abuse.
“[A total of] 83,4% of youths and residents admit that there is need to establish a drug and alcohol rehabilitation services in Bulawayo,” the survey said.
Recently, Bulawayo junior councillors said schools should take full responsibility for the emergence of the parties, as authorities banned discos and bashes.
They said most of the teenagers who attend vuzu parties were boarders because they lacked entertainment at schools.
In a raid in August, 224 pupils, who held a vuzu party at Umguza Rest Camp on the outskirts of Bulawayo, were arrested and later released into the custody of their parents.
Home Affairs minister Ignatius Chombo was quoted saying the government had already started working on appropriate laws to curtail vuzu parties.