SILUMESI MALUMO writes
THE use of marijuana among youths of Lusaka’s Matero Township has reached frightening levels and calls for speedy action to stop the vice from completely getting out of hand.
The area was steadily becoming a den of marijuana like Chibolya Township where the Drugs Enforcement commission (DEC) has repeatedly battled drug barons including the famous ‘Seven Spirits’.
Youths in the area have taken to cannabis as a daily activity which was now being perceived as normal way of life.
A check by the Sun found that by 07:30 hours a group of about 10 young boys between the age of 13 and 20 had camped near Buseko market makeshift houses to smoke marijuana.
What was more worrying was that people as young as 13 were involved in smoking marijuana who start their daily activities early morning near makeshift houses at Buseko market and hideouts at Matero main market and George area.
At the rate the commodity was being supplied in the area by unknown drug runners, it was becoming more apparent that it could soon become another safe haven for drug related trafficking.
One of the concerned Matero residents who is also a senior citizen Paul Banda complained over the activities of the young people engaged cannabis smoking.
Mr Banda wondered why the youths in the area had continued to engage in illicit activities instead of concentrating on constructive issues that would benefit their livelihood.
He said the uptake of marijuana among youths was now leading them to start terrorising innocent people in early hours.
“For me I can safely say that what is happening is very sad. These young people have no fear for anybody, they are able to smoke in any place without fear of being arrested as they see this to be normal,” he said.
Mr Banda appealed to DEC to step up and intensify patrols in the area to stop the vice.
He said if nothing was be done, Matero could turn into another Chibolya best known for marijuana trafficking.
Another concerned resident Mirriam Kuseka said she had witnessed some young girls smoking cannabis in groups of boys.
“I don’t know where this world is coming to. I have seen young and skimpily dressed girls smoking marijuana in the company of boys. Government should move in quickly before Matero becomes another Chibolya,” Ms Kuseka said.
DEC could not be immediately reached for a comment.