Is Unemployment Leading Cause Of Crime In Zim?
10 July 2023
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MASVINGO – Seventy-one per cent of inmates entering Zimbabwe prisons in the first quarter of 2023 are unemployed youth between the age of 15 and 30, a Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZimStats) report has said.

Analysts said this was an alarming report pointing to the possible escalation of abuse of drugs by Zimbabwe’s youth.

The report; 2023 First quarter prison admissions and discharges statistics report released in May 2023 says the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS) recorded 12 558 new inmates, with youth constituting 71,1% (8 926). 

Youth in the 20-24 age group constitutes 23.9% (2 810 males-191 females) of the admissions.

The 15-19 age group has 847 males and 79 females. The most committed crimes by the age group are robbery (311), theft (288), burglary (209) and rape (110).

The report comes at a time the national unemployment rate is 46.7%, according to a ZimStat 2023 first-quarter labour force survey report released on April 25, 2023.

Many youth work as vendors and drug dealers dealing in dangerous drugs like crystal meth resulting in high crime prevalence.

A total of 1 199 burglaries, 1 815 theft and 1 356 robbery cases were committed by youth between 15-30 years in the three months. Some of them engage in these criminal activities to find money to buy drugs.

Zimbabwe National Family Planning Council (ZNFPC) communications officer, Herbert Chikosi recently told The Mirror that youth, particularly the unemployed from high-density suburbs spend their time abusing drugs.

He said some desperate youth have resolved to boiling sanitary wear and drinking the thick white liquid extract to get intoxicated. Chikosi also said child marriages, teenage pregnancies and Gender Based Violence (GBV) are drivers of health problems affecting youth. …