The Sunday Mail
Mashonaland West Bureau
A multi-purpose sporting facility being constructed by the Karoi Town Council with devolution funds in its oldest high-density suburb of Chikangwe is expected to fight growing societal challenges, including drug abuse.
The Chikangwe Youth Centre in the town’s Ward 1, funded to a tune of $20 million from the council’s 2022 annual devolution funds disbursed by the central Government, is 95 percent complete.
Speaking on Friday during the presentation of the council’s 2023 Budget,
Karoi Town Council chairperson Councillor Abel Matsika said the centre was key to addressing challenges faced by the community.
“This is one facility that we pride ourselves in as Karoi Town Council.
“The state-of-the-art facility is expected to address all the social ills that our youths are facing on a daily basis.
“It is going to fight drug and substance abuse as well as sexual exploitation of minors,” he said.
Karoi, according to reports from the National Aids Council, is one of the towns in Mashonaland West province with the highest HIV/AIDS prevalence rates among the youth.
Cllr Matsika, who is also the Urban Council Association of Zimbabwe president, said there is need for councils to dedicate funds towards the fight against drug abuse and other social ills.
Karoi Ward 1 councillor Mr Travolta Matekenya bemoaned rampant drug abuse in his area, saying the centre was “a timely and necessary intervention”.
Zimbabwe National Organisation of Associations and Residents Trusts provincial chairperson Mr Liberty Chitiya lauded the council for dedicating funds for the youth centre’s construction.
Mr Edson Hozo, a Ward 1 resident, also thanked the council for the move, but called for youths and the community to be responsible to ensure that the facility is well-maintained.
The council, which was allocated over $200 million by the central Government for devolution in 2022, also constructed a classroom block at Westview Primary School and a maternity ward at Chikangwe Clinic, among other projects.