Police in Bulawayo yesterday arrested about 120 teenagers who had gathered at various points in the city centre allegedly to go to Vuzu Parties or cause general nuisance.
The sting operation netted two kombis that were allegedly taking the school children to party venues and drugs and alcohol were recovered from the teens and vehicles.
Vuzu parties are wild affairs where school children take alcohol, experiment with drugs and have unprotected group sex.
Teens usually organise most such parties on the first Saturday after schools close and the last one before schools open.
Yesterday, Saturday 4 May, police were in full force monitoring hotspots where teens gather for collection to go to Vuzu Parties.
A police source told a local newspaper that most of the arrests were made at the Bulawayo Centre. “The kids often gather at the Bulawayo Centre, City Hall or Haddon and Sly complex where they are taken to party venues mostly in the Eastern suburbs. Drunk school children are often sexually abused by kombi crews while some girls are given drugs then groups of boys have sex with them. Most of the children that were rounded up were gathered at the Bulawayo Centre,” said the source.
Sources at Bulawayo Central Police Station said large quantities of alcohol and drugs that include mbanje and ecstacy pills were recovered from the teens.
By last night most of the children had been released into the custody of their parents or guardians. Bulawayo residents blamed the spiraling decadence of youths on lack of parental guidance.
“Zanu-PF has failed to run the country so most parents have fled to the diaspora to be able to take their children to school. Unfortunately the children are left with no one to instill moral values in them. Most grow up with plenty of money that parents send from the diaspora but without moral guidance. That is why we are having increased incidents of drunk teens being a nuisance everywhere and exposing themselves to abuse that may scar them for life. They can become drug addicts or alcoholics at an early age,” said Mrs Mary Moyo of Sizinda suburb.
Ms Sibongile Sibanda who lives in the City Centre said police were doing the job of failed parents by trying to whip the wayward youths into line.
“Letting your children do as they please or giving them too much freedom is the worst parenting strategy and it is not love, as some parents seem to think. If you really hate your children, adopt this strategy. Police are now trying to clean up the mess caused by poor parenting. Parents wake up please because your children will catch incurable diseases like HIV get pregnant at an early age. A proper parent would not let children be out and about after dark and they would know where their children are during the day,” she said.
Last week Saturday during the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair Shut down, police rounded up 49 drunk and rowdy school children who were said to be a danger unto themselves and others in the City Centre.