Monday, May 20, 2024

Address problem of junkies; we didn’t walk to Lusaka for nothing!


The Archbishop of Lusaka, Alick Banda says the problem of junkies is a ticking time bomb that will wreck the country’s development gains if left unchecked.

“Everything we are working for, building will be in vain if we do not seriously and urgently address the issue of junkies” Dr Banda is quoted by the media as saying.

He further observes that there is an urgent need for Christians to step up and find solutions in order to address the challenge affecting the country’s young population.

We may not always agree with the Archbishop, but he has definitely hit the bull’s eye on this one! As readers may recall, late 2021 we undertook a 365 marathon walk from Kitwe to Lusaka to petition the New Dawn Administration to call for National Indaba to interrogate the problem of street kids and identify practical solutions. We emphasised that in the fullness of time, those we are referring to as street kids will ‘graduate’ into notorious gangsters who will come and terrorise our communities.

What’s the order of the day? Since they are now hardened and tempered, these misfits have gone into overdrive engaging in petty thefts and if you happen to stand in their way, you risk having your teeth knocked-out, eyes gorged-out or your stomach ripped open!

When the so-called junkies can no longer find anything of value in the shanties or townships, they will look for the proverbial greener pastures in posh neighborhoods where the ministers and all the apamwambas (the affluent) live! They will obviously use unimaginable force to dispossess them of their earthly possessions! Is this when those in authority will be compelled to act…… when the ‘apamwambas’ have been hit below the belt?

Rounding them up and throwing them in prison once in a while isn’t a solution, of course! We are perfectly aware government can’t tackle this problem alone. We need to start building consensus around this issue. As the Archbishop has suggested, the Church needs to come on board and open-up their doors to street kids; corporate entities have to take a stand by exercising good corporate responsibility; political parties must not just focus on criticising government but provide solutions while the NGOs should stop just holding workshops in plush hotels and move into the shanties to tackle this problem head on.

We didn’t just burn calories walking to Lusaka for nothing; we expect government to set the tone by leading the way.

Prince Bill M. Kaping’a
Political/Social Analyst


  1. Yes these youths should be guided towards meaningful ways of earning a living. It is annoying when you find some youths pretending to be mending a pothole on a busy road crossing and forcing motorists to give them money. Such conduct from youths should not be allowed as it leads to these same youths becoming so called junkies. We should avoid sleep walking into a situation of gang violence experienced in Haiti.

  2. ………

    Apart from seeking favours and looking to score points with politicians……….

    What are you priest’s and your churches doing to help the street kids pandemic in zambia……..???

  3. Everything is government, why? This is a societal issue. Every action has a reaction. People should not have children without accepting and taking the requisite responsibility. This is a law of nature. This should be in the constitution.


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