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Condemned hostel in Marondera becomes home to drug peddlers

Story by Jerold Sasa, Mashonaland East Bureau Chief

STAKEHOLDERS in the fight against drug and substance abuse have called on the Marondera municipality to bring order to an abandoned block of flats in Dombotombo, which has become the home for drug peddlers.

Broken windows, dark rooms, non-functional drainage systems, and no running water are what characterises an abandoned block of flats now popularly known as Gabulenda, a name borrowed from the popular Magaba in Mbare Harare.

The flats which were condemned by the Marondera Municipality have become free for all where drug peddling and sex work has become order of the day.

A convict who is serving his time at Marondera prison on a drug related offence and was part of an anti-drug awareness march held in Marondera this Friday confirmed that the place is where drugs are sold.

“This is one place where we used to get our drugs from, all the people here know me as a drug addict who used to come and buy here, please stop drug and substance abuse as it can destroy your life,” said Prince William.

The organisers of the march who stopped by the flat concurred that there is a need for order at the place if the war against drugs is to be won.

“We appeal to Marondera town to either repair this place or have it closed as all criminal activities are found here,” said Overseer David Guni from Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe.

“Young people, I urge you to shun drugs as they destroy your future, ask those who have used drugs if they still want to use them again,” said media personality, Oscar Pambuka.

Inhabitants of the flats agree that there is a lot of drug peddling at Gabulenda.

“We always see people who are selling drugs coming to this place to do their business, and we want this to stop.

“Apart from the issue of drugs, there is a lot of sex work taking place here, yet no one knows who really owns this place,” they said.

The call to deal with suppliers and places dealing in drugs comes at a time when President Emmerson launched the Zimbabwe multi sectoral plan against drug and substance abuse at the state house on Wednesday.

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