Tourney aims to keep youth away from crime

PHIRI CAWE

Residents should not be living in fear because criminals are plaguing their communities.

This was Ward 95 councillor Mpucuko Nguzo’s message at the Sports Against Crime Tournament in eNkanini, Khayelitsha, on Monday.

He also called on people to mobilise young people to take the lead in the fight against crime.

Mr Nguzo took the opportunity to make a passionate plea to those gathered at the Esigingqini field, notoriously known for vigilantism, to teach young people about freedom and where the country come from.

He said many young people appear on television saying they will not vote and urged leaders and parents to educate these young people about the struggle for freedom and importance of voting.

He also called for a programme of action, saying the involvement of the broader communities in the ward was critical in the fight against the rape and murder of women, children and the elderly.

“We also want sport people to take charge of this tournament. We are doing this because we want young people to be responsible citizens. From previous page

“We also want responsible people to run this tournament. But the ultimate aim is to keep our children away from crime. We need to see our children safe and protected.

“Sports is another way of keeping them busy and protected,” he said.

He admitted that his area has been bedevilled by shocking violent crimes targeting women, children and the elderly.

Mr Nguzo said a lack of active participation by young people in the fight against crime would be bad for the area. Event organiser Andiswa Ngcani said part of the aim of Sports Against Crime, was to stop vigilantism in the area.

Ms Ngcani said there had been a couple of incidents when people had taken the law into their own hands on the very field they were gathered on.

“Sport is a very important tool to fight drugs and alcohol. We encourage young people to stick to it and any other thing that keeps them away from crime. But today we felt we need to discourage those who practise vigilantism. We are saying it cannot be right to beat and assault a criminal. Police are there to work with us. There is also a leadership that you can work with,” she said.

She urged parents to keep children safe and protected, saying those who took part in sport learnt to be disciplined and to work with their coaches.

“They (coaches) need to motivate them to be good citizens. We want them to be safe. They must please stay away from drugs like tik. We are told there is a new kind of it now, but we want to discourage them from getting involved in drugs. They need education,” she said.

Another call to fight crime came from the Harare Community Policing Forum chairperson, Ronnie Busakhwe, who added that he was impressed with how the crime had dropped in his sector.

He commended the councillor and his team for having a tournament that is against drugs and crime. Mr Busakhwe called on shebeeners to work with the community to fight crime. He said alcohol was becoming a problem and liquor sellers could help in that regard.

“All we ask them is not to allow under-age children in their spots. It is do-able. They must not be greedy for money. Taverners and shebeen kings and queens need to put the country first. We are not saying they must not sell. All we say is save our children, our future,” he said.

His hope is for the organisers to take the tournament to other areas of Khayelitsha.

He said if the tournament can be spread in all areas of Khayelitsha it can unite people of the area to fight crime.