Byo Police Officially Protect DrugLords
6 August 2023
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Police Issue Contradictory Messages on Drug Abuse Exposure and Filming of Intoxicated Individuals

By Farai D Hove | In a baffling turn of events, the police in Bulawayo have issued contradictory messages regarding the exposure of drug abuse and the filming of intoxicated individuals. The controversial statements were revealed in the state-owned Sunday News, sparking a debate on the importance of documenting criminal activities for public safety.

The confusion arose when the police warned the public against recording videos of vulnerable people or those in distress, stating that it is a criminal offense and anyone caught doing so would be liable to arrest. This comes after a video of a suspected Nyamande Primary School pupil, visibly drunk and disorderly, went viral on social media.

In the video, the learner, a senior student at the school, is seen sitting in what appears to be a school office, surrounded by school authorities. The police spokesperson, Inspector Abednico Ncube, explained that the learner had stolen money from his grandmother to purchase alcohol, which he mixed with a fizzy soft drink. The boy consumed the concoction during class time, leading to his intoxication and unacceptable behavior.

While the police claimed that they were investigating the video, they simultaneously issued a warning against filming such incidents. This raised concerns among the public as capturing evidence through videos is crucial for exposing crime, especially drug peddling and substance abuse that have become rampant in communities and schools across the country.

The police’s stance on discouraging the filming of intoxicated individuals contradicts their role in safeguarding the public’s well-being. Filming such incidents not only helps in identifying drug peddlers and suppliers but also serves as evidence for initiating legal action against those involved in drug-related crimes.

However, the police justified their warning, urging authorities, teachers, parents, and members of the public to refrain from recording videos of vulnerable individuals. Instead, they emphasized the need for protection and the implementation of appropriate medical measures, such as contacting parents, police, or other relevant stakeholders when dealing with such situations.

The situation has drawn attention to the alarming rise of drug abuse among young people in Bulawayo and the urgent need for rehabilitation facilities. Ingutsheni Central Hospital, the sole public psychiatric institution in the city, is grappling with a high number of drug and substance abuse victims, with admissions continuing to surge regularly.

Authorities from the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education have expressed their commitment to a zero-tolerance policy towards substance abuse in schools. However, there is a pressing need for a coherent and consistent approach from law enforcement agencies when it comes to dealing with drug-related issues.

As the controversy continues to unfold, the public calls for clarity from the police on their stance regarding the filming of incidents related to drug abuse and substance intoxication. Balancing the preservation of individuals’ dignity and privacy with the necessity of documenting criminal activities for public safety remains a challenging task that requires careful consideration and open dialogue among stakeholders.