Zanu PF candidate tackles drug abuse

Patrick Chitumba

Midlands Bureau

ZANU PF candidate for Mkoba South Constituency Cde Wellington Magura is tackling drug and substance abuse at the grassroots through fitness and wellness programmes in the area, taking a cue from President  Mnangagwa.

President Mnangagwa has called on the youth to desist from drug and substance abuse saying the Government would soon review the law on dangerous drugs and implement stiffer penalties.

The President has called on parents and community leaders to play an active role in ensuring that their children desist from taking drugs and if they cannot control their children, they should report them to law enforcement agencies to nip the problem in the bud.

Cde Magura, who is also a Zanu PF Central Committee member, said he is using fitness and wellness programmes as part of efforts to complement the Government in decimating the scourge.

The programmes are held at Bumburwi Primary School in Mkoba 11 suburb and at Shumba Hall in Senga suburb.

Chronicle recently caught up with Cde Magura at Bumburwi Primary School where he was leading a group of 15 youths and some adults through fitness paces.

Held in a relaxed environment with key participants being youths, the local community was highly appreciative of the initiative.

“I hold fitness and wellness sessions on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at Bumburwi Primary from 6am to 7am then Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at Shumba Hall from 6am to 7am,” he said.

Cde Magura said the fitness and wellness programmes he is running are a key platform to send a clear message on the dangers of drug and substance abuse.

“The programmes are also aimed at promoting a healthy lifestyle among the youth and the elderly through exercising and a good diet. Inactivity causes the manifestation of chronic ailments like hypertension and diabetes. Cardiovascular workouts ensure that the lungs, kidneys, liver and heart function well. I also realised that working out in the morning preoccupies the youth and helps them to refocus their energies from drug and substance abuse to a healthy lifestyle,” he said.

Cde Magura said he offers the services for free for the benefit of every community member who wants to stay fit.

“Participants of the fitness and wellness classes do not pay because as their Member of Parliament of choice, I felt it was my duty to provide the service free of charge. As it is, right now the promotion of fitness and wellness programmes is a national agenda and I feel it’s a need for everyone irrespective of their social class,” he said.

Exercise is an effective therapy for mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety, and it can also be an essential part of addiction recovery.

According to studies, people who engage in fitness practice enjoy happier and healthier lives.

At the same time, experts in the field of addiction recovery and psychological health state that fitness is vital for maintaining an addiction-free lifestyle and boosting mental health. Exercise lifts people’s spirits, making them feel on top of the world. In addition, it boosts confidence and improves self-esteem.

Cde Magura said a viable class can have 12 to 15 people adding that they conduct four classes in an hour.

“It’s cross-fitness, high-intensity workouts. Cross fitness is a way of exercising that involves a combination of various drills like running, jumping, tyre pulling, tyre flipping performed in circuits. On the other hand, high-intensity workouts are exercises that are done continuously with very little or no rest in between. It can take 30 minutes to complete a full body workout,” he said.

Cde Magura said research has indicated the potential of physical activity and sports in developing positive self-identity, preventing addictions, assisting in recovery, and promoting physical and mental health among youth and adults.

“Alcohol, drugs and marijuana use can harm a person’s ability to participate at their highest level in physical and mental activities like sports and academics, due to their negative effects on the brain, eye-hand coordination, body weight gain, and central nervous system toxicity. We try to make these youths or people stay in shape and think of opportunities to grow themselves,” he said.

Born in Masvingo in 1978, Cde Magura grew up in Gweru where he attended Grades 1 to 7 at Bumburwi Primary, and Secondary education at Matinunura High School in Mkoba 9.

He said he ventured into politics at the tender age of nine.

“From that early age, I was introduced to politics and later became a Zanu PF member. I rose through the ranks from the cell and now I’m running for the third five-year term in the Central Committee of the ruling party,” said Cde Magura.

He said for 20 years, he was a civil servant working with the youth as a Youth Development and Programmes Officer in the then Ministry of Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment.

“Currently, I am a member of the Central Committee and aspiring MP for Mkoba South Constituency representing the ruling party,” said Cde Magura who is also a physical fitness trainer.

Government has scaled up the fight against drug and substance abuse so that harmful drugs and substances are not allowed to proliferate in the country.

At both national and sub-national levels, the Inter-Ministerial Task Force on Drug and Substance Abuse was established to coordinate the fight against the scourge.

Since then, robust strategies have been deployed to curb drug production, manufacturing, and distribution.

Some of the youths attending the programme from Mkoba suburb commended Cde Magura and the Government for scaling up the fight against harmful drugs through the fitness and wellness programme.

“I’m rewriting one O-Level subject and I know I have something to do to stay healthy and active while I go for extra lessons. So every three days a week I know I have to be here participating and we’re also taught about the negative effects of abusing drugs. This is a worthy cause,” said Nyasha Nyengera from Mkoba 6 suburb.

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