Story by Lisa Masuku
RECENT cases of gang wars at schools have prompted the government to open up a dialogue platform to get to the bottom of the matter.
Following a recent incident in which a Founders High School pupil in Bulawayo was fatally stabbed in a suspected case of gang wars between Founders and Hamilton High School students, a stakeholders’ engagement involving government officials, police officers, parents, teachers, students was held at Townsend High School in Bulawayo this Tuesday.
The engagement gave students a platform to openly share with their parents the triggers of gang wars in schools.
A student, Thandeka Moyo said, ‘‘Gang wars between schools are usually caused by territorial battles, peer pressure as well as drug and substance abuse.’’
Realising how deep the problem is, parents said there is a need for counselling organisations to interact more with school children to put an end to challenges caused by gang wars in schools.
A parent, Nokuthula Zulu said, ‘‘Counselling organisations should interact more with children as this will give students an opportunity to openly talk about the challenges they encounter.’’
Drug and substance abuse among youths has also been cited as a major driver of gang wars in schools.
Townsend High School Deputy Head Mrs Buitumelo Nare noted, ‘‘It is the abuse of drugs that is causing gang wars between schools.’’
The Zimbabwe Republic Police said for the nation to preserve the future of young people, everyone has a role to play in fighting the scourge of drug and substance abuse.
ZRP Bulawayo Provincial spokesperson, Inspector Abednico Ncube said, ‘‘It is everyone’s responsibility to safeguard the future of our youths. It takes every citizen to ensure that our children are kept in line.’’
Drug and substance abuse has reached alarming levels in the country, hence President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s recent declaration that government is escalating the fight against the scourge.