Liswaniso’s Reflection On Junkies In Chibolya

Liswaniso’s Reflection On Junkies In Chibolya
Liswaniso’s Reflection On Junkies In Chibolya

Africa-Press – Zambia. After visiting the infamous Chibolya Gaza street, my reflection was as broad, having taken time to interact with youths in the ghetto. I saw some youths who were willing to reform and become better citizens if given a chance.

I also saw educated, and uneducated, the responsible, and unresponsible youths abusing drugs such as Chamba and other substances. These youths if arrested are taken to prison for 9 months or more and as soon as they come back they continue with the same acts.

Most arrest and imprisonments are for possession and ‘possession’ is not defined whether for use(patients) or trafficking(sell). If it is for use then the user can be teamed as a patient who needs help(reform).

I have seen students from UNZA and other learning institutions flocking to Chibolya to smoke and if nabbed they are sent to prison 9 months or more for possession or using the substance.

If they are students they lose double, on education and society standing as they become ex-convicts because their cases fall under crime Justice system and not considered a ‘health’ problem.

DEC may have a program to reform but maybe it is not helping much as it may be difficulty for a young man who is willing to reform to a approach or surrender to a DEC officer whom they fear the most, its like an armed robber trusting the C5 unit (a sheep taking itself into a slaughter house).

Chainama is another rehabilitation center but carries a lot of stigma while private rehabs are very expensive. It almost seem as though the war on drug abuse as created blackmarkets and an increase in substance abuse than reforming the victims who a mainly youths.

During our Chibolya visit we learnt through our interactions that youths need more sports recreation facilities and engaments in terms of rehabilitation as well as opportunity identification for business ventures.

Joseph Chingango a former boxer and a resident of Chibolya also observed that substance abuse was a challenge in the area among the young generation but was quick mention that opening more sports recreation facilities for boxing and other sports can go along way in helping youths to be active thereby preventing drug abuse.

Some youths demanded for the opening of a party office in Chibolya, for continuous mobilisation, sensitisation and education on programs and progress on party activities and enlightenment on formation of cooperatives so as to actively participate.

They say the want Chibolya to be known for good activities such as business and creativity as opposed to being associated with weed smoking. I couldn’t agree more, “a good name is better than fine perfume” as the Bible says in Ecclesiastes.

Sometimes people are tempted to think everyone in Chibolya is the same or they all have a substance abuse issue when there families infact Zambians living in the area.

We appreciated the main challenges faced by our youths in the area and their willingness to change their living conditions as they aspired for more. We will facilitate engagement with relevant authorities to help look into the plight of Chibolya residents.

President Hakainde Hichilema and the UNPD New Dawn Administration is an all inclusive government working to improve the livelihood of many Zambians through decentralization, thus; CDF, youth empowerment, loans and grants which can be accessed in any constituency.

For some youths in Chibolya and other places who are now termed as junkies due to excessive substance abuse, they should be treated as patient who need help than punishment so that they can contribute to the development of this country after all is said and done.

We love all youths across the country and we want everyone to participate in improving our localities while our lives too. Hope you had a fulfilling Sunday…

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