Youths driven to crime by unemployment

Young people facing rampant social and economic problems are turning to a life of crime, a state of affairs brought into shocking relief at the funeral of Mbare robber, the now infamous Boris Mushonga.

“Some young people grow up in areas where crime and drug use are the order of the day. This is what they see growing up and this is what they become.” – David Chidende.
“Some young people grow up in areas where crime and drug use are the order of the day. This is what they see growing up and this is what they become.” – David Chidende.

Mushonga and four of his accomplices died in a car accident along Simon Mazorodze road in Harare recently. During his funeral, his friends grabbed his coffin and placed it on top of a car for “a last ride” in his neighbourhood.

The youths sped through the streets of Mbare until the coffin fell and broke into pieces. Rather than being disrespectful, it was, said the group, an action befitting the lifestyle Mushonga had lived.

The Zimbabwean spoke to a number of people who expressed concern at the behaviour. Many were shocked by the lifestyle of the deceased and their colleagues. Many said it was symptomatic of the problems facing the country.

“They just want quick money without working for it,” said Moreblessing from the Avenues area. Tsitsi Mataruse from Chitungwiza laid the blame on absentee parents, saying a whole generation was being raised via the phone.

“Most of these kids’ parents are in the diaspora, so they have grown up without parental oversight and guidance,” she said.

Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe general secretary Reverend Lindani Dube said society had lost its values.

“Lack of moral values is one of the main factors –lack of ‘hunhu-ubuntu’, that which defines us as a people. In the past the deceased would be treated with respect,” Dube said.

He said that traditional values were being eroded by a culture of “not only lack of respect to the elderly, but also lack of respect for the deceased. Another contributing factor could be the indiscriminate use of drugs”.

Dube said that society had proper role models but it was up to the youths to choose whom to follow.

“We do have good models, but the will to be modelled is what is lacking amongst some youths, as shown by the fact that some prefer a model who they might never even meet in their lifetime,” he said.

He acknowledged that avenues of socialisation had become diverse, and “given that, at times, parents are wanting in providing that intimate and quality time due to the ‘busy’ environment, children tend to take solace in available avenues for socialisation”. Zimbabwe Youth Council communications officer Innocent Katsande said too much exposure to the informal world had damaged young people.

“We think that young people have been exposed to the informal sector to the extent that they are no longer able to transact formally in a sustainable way, in a way that is able to contribute to the economy,” he said.

David Chidende, programmes officer at Youth Information and Education for Behaviour Change, said young people were faced with serious socio-economic problems.

“Ninety-five per cent unemployment is not a joke. The upbringing of these people also plays a part. Some of them grow up in areas where crime and drug use are the order of the day. This is what they see growing up and this is what they become,” Chidende said.

Post published in: News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *