Over 5,000 residents, politicians, church and civic organizations from Zimbabwe’s second City, Bulawayo, united Friday in a march against wild teenage parties parents fear will destroy their children’s lives.
The parties are popularly known as Vuzum in the region.
The peaceful march started at the Bulawayo City Hall and moved to various spots in the city that are believed to be meeting places for the teenagers who take part in the parties.
Reverend Useni Sibanda, one of the march organizers, told VOA they were impressed by the turnout, adding they are now planning a similar march in Harare.
He says the march was meant to raise awareness about the dangers associated with early sexual activity, drugs and other ills.
“We were raising awareness in the spots where these teenagers normally meet,” said Sibanda.
“What we are trying to do is to target the teenagers in school so they can be able to influence each other for good.”
He said the coalition is excited by the massive turnout Friday and has no doubt that some of the youth will heed the call to stay away from the sex parties.
“We are really looking at a massive program, even in Bulawayo where children can go to schools and tell each other about the dangers of such parties,” said Sibanda.
The parties have become popular in almost all urban centres with teenagers and young adults involved in binge drinking and in some cases unprotected sex.
Although it is not clear where the teenagers get the money from there are some who say that most of the kids have parents in the Diaspora who send them money for their upkeep but they divert it to the parties.