The clergy in Chilanga district in Lusaka province has commended the move taken by the government to round-up delinquents commonly known as ‘junkies’ in Lusaka district noting that it is long overdue.
Chilanga Constituency Pastors Fellowship Chairperson, Reverend Richard Sikazwe says government’s decision to round up junkies as they are commonly known off the streets is good for safety and peace in the country.
Rev. Sikazwe was speaking in an interview and said: “Like cadres who used to terrorise citizens, these junkies begun to look like improved cadres. They would snatch phones, beat up people, remove shoes from passers-by and steal, smoke drugs in broad daylight and many such wrongs.”
Rev. Sikazwe noted that the junkies, who are mostly youths, have no source of income hence their decision to engage into criminal activities.
He has since asked the government to consider admitting them into skill training centres under the Zambia National Service (ZNS).
Rev. Sikazwe said government should move into Chilanga and other places to arrest the junkies.
“Ministry of Community Development and Social Welfare needs to work with the Churches to identify, train and integrate these Junkies,” he said.
And in a separate interview, John Mukupa, a Priest in the New Apostolic Church based in Chilanga, has also commended government for arresting junkies from various townships in Lusaka.
Mr Mukupa has since recommended that the exercise of rounding up junkies be done countrywide.
He noted that the periodic rounding-up of the junkies is not enough hence the need for government to find a lasting solution to the problem of street kids and youths in criminal gangs.
He said one of the solutions could be establishing government owned orphanages where street kids can be kept.
The clergyman suggested that these kids can be enrolled for skills training at ZNS when they grow older.
“Those who form gangs and commit criminal activities should be arrested and taken to prison so that they can reform. The position of the church is clear, we have always preached good morals, but we have limitations on delivering the message to the masses because it is not everyone who attends church services,” he said.
Mr Mukupa has meanwhile advised parents and guardians to teach decency to their children at home.
“Charity begins at home and so, if children are not properly brought up, as a church, our hands are tied. Let them face the law so that they can reform,’’ he added.