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Police raided vuzu parties 

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Vuzu Parties

Police in Bulawayo arrested rowdy youths found in the central business district and have increased deployment of officers to deal with the scourge of vuzu parties.

Teenagers take drugs and often engage in risky unprotected group sex at the parties.

Police said there is a growing trend of youths causing anarchy in the city centre or organising the infamous parties on the last Saturday before schools open and first Saturday after schools close.

Schools open for the second term on Tuesday.

Bulawayo acting police spokesperson Inspector Abednico Ncube said cops would not only target the rowdy youths but also kombi crews that usually transport them to party destinations.

“On May 2 Officer Commanding Bulawayo Central District Chief Superintendent Elizabeth Phiri held a meeting with several stakeholders including social welfare, National Aids Council, Bulawayo City Council land inspection officers, Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education and two representatives from parents’ bodies,” said Insp Ncube.

“Of concern was the risky behaviour by these youths, who will be drunk, a nuisance in the city centre and making noise while riding on kombis and hanging from the windows of the cars. There is also a concern that these kids would be abusing dangerous drugs.”

He said in the meeting they resolved to arrest those youths who would be found to be disorderly, drunk and causing commotion in the city centre.

“We want to warn all the youths that we have resolved to increase police deployments in anticipation of their rowdy behaviour. We will also arrest kombi drivers who provide these teenagers with transport and impound their vehicles. Therefore, we are appealing to parents to pay closer attention to their children’s activities so that they will not be found on the wrong side of the law,” he said.

Insp Ncube said they will also be conducting an anti-drugs campaign in the city centre as they worry that teens were abusing dangerous substances.

Last week on Saturday, police arrested 49 youths aged between 15 and 25 years for criminal nuisance and public drinking.

Meanwhile, parents in Bulawayo have been urged to create a culture of dialogue with their children in order to preserve the moral fabric of the city’s communities and the future of youths.

At a #Anti Vuzu parties stakeholders’ meeting organised by the Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association (BPRA) at City Presbyterian Church yesterday, it was resolved that intensive research be undertaken to find the root cause of teenage delinquency and moral degradation, as evidenced by the rise of vuzu parties.

The meeting was attended by various youth-centred non-governmental organisations.

Speaking at the meeting, Junior Chamber International Bulawayo chapter local president Mrs Sinqobile Demadema said sexual immorality among the youth was worrying, adding that some girls as young as 13 years are selling their bodies for jiggies and recharge cards.

Thamsanqa Ndlovu, chairman of Parents Youths Association of Zimbabwe said that parents must work with the Bulawayo City Council and MPs in implementing policies that are meant to safeguard the future of the youth.

“The city council, through its housing and community services department made a policy document on February 9, 2012, named the Sustainable Economic Development Initiative and is meant to benefit youths. As parents, we need to implement the document to alleviate the scourge of drug and sexual abuse among youths.

“We need to engage the youth and find ways of modernising Youth Centres so that they meet their needs. Members of Parliament must also be put to task because the country’s constitution has provisions for reasonable measures and affirmative action that should be taken to deal with the youth,” said Ndlovu.

Ndlovu added that the generational gap between children and parents and technological advancements cannot be blamed for youths engaging in wayward behaviour as parents have a duty to engage their children on issues that affect them. The Chronicle

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HEALTH

Perence Shiri, Zimbabwe Agriculture Minister Dies

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Perrence-Shiri-Dead

Zimbabwe’s agriculture minister Perence Shiri, a retired general who helped plot the ouster of Robert Mugabe in a 2017 coup, has died, President Emmerson Mnangagwa said on Wednesday.

Perence Shiri, who commanded the air force for 25 years until he joined the government in 2017, was admitted to hospital on Tuesday, two government sources said. He died in the early hours of Wednesday.

“Shiri was a true patriot, who devoted his life to the liberation, independence and service of his country,” Mnangagwa said in a statement. He did not say how Shiri died.

But domestic media said Shiri, 65, succumbed to complications from the respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus, which has infected 2,817 and killed 40 in Zimbabwe.

A liberation war veteran,Perrence Shiri had a chequered past. He commanded the army’s Fifth Brigade unit that carried out the 1980s massacres of thousands of civilians in western Zimbabwe as the government sought to quell an insurgency.

The army massacres, known as ‘Gukurahundi’, a Shona term meaning the ‘early rain that washes away the chaff’, remain a sore point for the people of the Matabeleland region, many of whom demand justice and reparations.

The main opposition Movement for Democratic Change accused Perence Shiri of being among the security chiefs who organised violence against its members after Mugabe lost the first round of the presidential vote in 2008.Reuters

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HEALTH

US buys nearly all of Gilead’s Covid-19 drug Remdesivir

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Remdesivir Covid 19

The US is buying nearly all the next three months’ projected production of Covid-19 treatment Remdesivir from US manufacturer Gilead.

The US health department announced on Tuesday it had agreed to buy 500,000 doses for use in American hospitals. Tests suggest Remdesivir cuts recovery times, though it is not yet clear if it improves survival rates.

Gilead did sign a licensing deal in May for production outside the US but it is still in its early stages.

“President Trump has struck an amazing deal to ensure Americans have access to the first authorised therapeutic for Covid-19,” Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said in a statement. A course of treatment in the US will cost $2,340 (£1,900).

Nine companies can make the drug under licence outside the US for distribution in 127 mostly poorer countries, and the cost is lower. But the project is still in its early stages.

Additional quantities are being manufactured for use in clinical trials. But critics say the US move to buy up so much stock from Gilead itself undermines international co-operation on COVID, given that other countries have taken part in trials of Remdesivir, originally an anti-viral against Ebola.

“The trial that gave the result that allowed Remdesivir to sell their drug wasn’t just done in the US. There were patients participating through other European countries, in the UK as well, and internationally, Mexico and other places,” Oxford University’s Prof Peter Horby told BBC Radio 4.

He said the move also had implications for any possible future vaccine, with the need for “a much stronger framework if we are going to develop these things and they’re going to be used for national emergencies”.

Senior Sussex University lecturer, Ohid Yaqub, said: “It so clearly signals an unwillingness to co-operate with other countries and the chilling effect this has on international agreements about intellectual property rights.”Some in the US have criticised the purchase price, as taxpayer money had helped fund Remdesivir’s development.BBC

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17 new Zimbabwe Covid-19 cases confirmed

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Zimbabwe Covid 19

Seventeen new cases of Covid-19 in Zimbabwe, a majority of which are from quarantine facilities were reported yesterday bringing the total number of cases to 591.

From the cases confirmed yesterday, 13 involved returnees from South Africa, one from Botswana while three were local transmissions. The Ministry of Health and Child Care daily update shows that one of the cases confirmed as a local transmission had to contact with a known confirmed case.

Investigations are, however, underway to establish the source of infection for the two other local transmissions. Cases of recoveries also continue to increase with the latest statistics from the update standing at 162, leaving the country with 421 active COVID 19 cases.

The latest recoveries were reported from Mashonaland East (3), Mashonaland Central (2), Bulawayo (2), Matabeleland North (2), Mashonaland West (1) and Manicaland (1). The number of people who have died from the virus remains at seven.

“To date, the total number of confirmed cases is 591, recovered 162, active cases, 422 and seven deaths since the onset of the outbreak on 20 March 2020,” reads part of the update.

Zimbabwe has so far conducted 67 755 tests for Covid-19 from which, 30 711 were diagnostic tests while the remaining were rapid tests done for screening purposes. The Herald

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