• Sofia

BCC to modernise youth centers in order to tackle vuzu problem

Vuzu parties (which were first known as vuzooms) have been a problem in Bulawayo since 2013. By 2015 it was known that teenagers where booking lodges for their parties where they would do their shenanigans. Old men were found in those scenes with young girls. They were paying them money and buying them drinks in exchange for sexual favours. The Bulawayo city council had to give lodges a warning that they risked closure if they were seen participating in these activities or allowing teens to book such places. Teenagers and at times adults were arrested for such practices. In 2016 the problem rose again with vuzu parties moving to private houses, especially in the houses where children stayed alone with parents either dead or in the diaspora. Police followed them and arrests were made leading to them invoking the law that requires a police clearance to hold a home party which should not go beyond 22 00. This resulted the problem dying down for while.

Three years later in 2019, the problem has started haunting Bulawayo again. Arrests were made by the police and the teenagers appeared in court on Monday 6 May 2019. They were caught in possession of alcohol, condoms and drugs. Teenagers as young as 13 years old were convicted and charged with community service.

The Bulawayo city council has pledged to modernise youth centers in order to tackle this issue. The BCC Chamber Secretary Mrs Sikhangele Zhou said that modernising Bulawayo's 12 youth centers is the key to tackle the vuzu problem. She says she is engaging with the youth to know what exactly they wanted to do in the centers to make them interesting and provide fun for them.

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