The community of Tsumeb is concerned about an increasing number of teenagers frequenting bars and engaging in alcohol consumption as well as drugs.
To this, the community has petitioned the police and asked for reinforced efforts to curb the situation. “We are deeply irked by the presence of teenagers under 18 at bar and various alcohol outlets in Tsumeb. We fully acknowledge that everyone is duty bound to provide parental tutelage to the children, hence our efforts to reach out to different stakeholders in an attempt to quarantine this developing trend,” reads a petition, co-signed by Affirmative Repositioning movement activist John Johannes, bar/sheeben representative Joshua Twaitavela, and youth forum representative Ikambe Ndeshipanda.
The concerned parties say the use of drugs among school pupils is also increasing and has, thus, led to indiscipline, which has resulted in ugly confrontations between learners and teachers. “Based on that, we would, therefore, like to request the police to devise special operations aimed at curbing these tendencies. We are convinced that operations, especially during weekends at bars and alcohol outlets will help reduce the presence of school children,” appealed the residents.
They have further appealed to the bar owners and parents to remain vigilant and see to it that minors do not find their ways into the bars, as they will be confronted with temptations to drink and subsequently become victims of sexual abuse. “I hail efforts by the police to visit various schools and speak to pupils about their presence at bars – and use of drugs as well as involvement in criminal activities. But due to the pandemic, there should have been some setbacks in addressing these issues,” Meanwhile, police deputy commissioner for operations Petrus Shigwedha said the region already has a programme rolled out in various areas, where members are on the group sensitising the communities and pupils.
Shigwedha said all police departments are part of the operation to tackle all criminal activities. “We encourage the community and leaders to spread the awareness message further – and to also report crimes timely. Because, if an act is reported late, there are chances of finding the evidence destroyed,” he stressed. On the issues of bar patrols, the commissioner said, they have been serious in regulating the operations and occupancy of revellers at various establishments.