VP Chiwenga rallies church to fight drug abuse Vice President Dr Constantino Chiwenga speaks to St Matthews Catholic Church sisters at the church’s celebration day in Glen View, Harare, yesterday. - Picture: Egefa Muchetwa

Mukudzei Chingwere Herald Reporter

Zimbabwe is facing a menacing drug and substance abuse scourge which, if unchecked, has the potential to affect an entire generation, and the church has an obligation to partner Government to fight off this menace, Vice President Dr Constantino Chiwenga said yesterday.

He said this when he joined fellow Roman Catholic Church parishioners in commemorating the St Matthew Celebration Day in Glen View, Harare, yesterday.

His call comes as Government has rolled out several strategies to fight drugs and substance abuse, which has affected many young people, and even some elderly people.

With the church being a beacon of moral rectitude, Vice President Chiwenga has called on the church to participate in the fight against drug abuse.

“The nation is faced with the scourge of drug and substance abuse especially by our youth,” said Vice President Chiwenga.

“These illicit substances have destroyed the mental, physical and psychological wellbeing of a number of our young people throughout the country. Zimbabwe cannot prosper without the youth.

“I urge the church to join hands with the Government to fight drug abuse and protect our communities as well as the nation at large from the effects of drug and substance abuse.”

Vice President Chiwenga said if people do not join hands in the fight against drug abuse, more people, mainly youths, would be affected.

“As Government, we appreciate the role of the youth in the socio-economic development of the country. Therefore, let us all play our roles in nurturing them to be upstanding and responsible citizens.

“The future of this country belongs to the youth,” he said.

Meanwhile, Vice President Chiwenga congratulated parishioners at St Matthew Catholic Church in Glen View for taking up a church construction project.

He said the move was in line with the Government’s thrust of encouraging infrastructure development.

Vice President Chiwenga also called on the church to consider several other projects like construction of educational facilities, youth centres, vocational training centres, ICT centres, sports centres and libraries.

He said he had been informed that just like other institutions in Zimbabwe, St Matthew Catholic Church was facing financial challenges, but urged them to be resourceful and sustain the development of their church.

“I am informed that since 2014, the parishioners of St Matthew have been undertaking various fundraising activities towards the construction of the church.

“I am happy with the progress that has been achieved to date. As the Government’s mantra says, ‘Nyika inovakwa, nekunamatirwa nevene vayo (Ilizwe lakhiwa, likhulekelwe ngabanikazi balo’.

“What we have witnessed here today is testimony that you are not only praying for the nation, asi muri kuyivakawo zvekare (but you are also building it).

“Allow me at this point, to applaud the church’s visionary leadership, and the financial support you gave as congregants, to ensure the success of the church project. I say well done!” said Vice President Chiwenga.

He encouraged the Roman Catholic Church in general, and the Glen View parish in particular, to extend their efforts to the surrounding community by spearheading projects that benefit the nation.

Vice President Chiwenga donated US$10 000 towards the completion of the church, which is nearing completion.

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