Police arrest shebeen operator for supplying alcohol to minors; nine additional minors in the viral video identified


HARARE – A 23-year-old shebeen operator from Mbare, Phaeteon Mutiyaya, has been apprehended by Zimbabwe’s police for allegedly selling alcohol to minors. The arrest comes in the aftermath of a viral video that showed a group of minors consuming alcohol openly in the Harare Central Business District (CBD) on Christmas Day.

Zimbabwe viral social media video showing minors alcohol abuse, shebeen operator from Mbare arrested, Police identify more minors
Apprehended ...23-year-old Phaeton Mutiyaya from Mbare, Harare, will have some explaining to do after he was arrested by police for allegedly selling alcohol to minors. 

Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi, the police spokesperson, confirmed in a statement on Friday that Mutiyaya operates his shebeen at Block 2C10, Nenyere Flats, in Mbare, Harare. Following the arrest, the police have seized various brands of alcohol from Mutiyaya’s premises.

Nyathi detailed the list of recovered items, stating:

The arrest led to the recovery of: 16 x 1.25 litres Super Chibuku, 38 x 200ml Two Keys Whisky, 25 X 200 ml Gin, 20 empty beer crates, 5 X 500 ml Detroit beer, 5 X 5000 Skippers cane spirit, 3 X 750 Heinken beer, 2 X 750 ml Gondons Gin, 2 X 750 ml Robertson wine, 1 X 750 ml Chando wine, 1 X 750 ml Omega whisky, 1 X 750 ml Double Black whisky, 1 X 750 ml Discovery Vodka, 1 X 750 Pushkin Vodka and 1 X 750 ml Black Label quart.

The police have also identified nine additional minors who were in the company of two previously identified minors from Epworth, Harare, as seen in the circulated videos. 

“The minors are aged 5, 7 (three), 9, 10 (three) and 11. They all reside at Nenyere Flats, Mbare with their parents and guardians who have since been located by the police,” the police added.

Preliminary investigations suggest that the minors used money they received as Christmas presents to purchase the alcohol.

“Investigations by the police have established that the minors used money given to them as Christmas presents to buy alcohol,” Nyathi revealed. 

“The minors travelled from Mbare to Harare Central Business District and linked up with the two minors from Epworth.”

In response to this incident, the police have issued a stern warning to liquor outlet operators, cautioning them against selling alcohol to individuals under the age of 18.

The abuse of alcohol and drugs by minors in Zimbabwe is a pressing issue that was regrettably dramatized by the viral social media video that showed children openly abusing alcohol in public.

As the country grapples with a debilitating drug abuse and addiction crisis, spotlight has also been thrust on the abuse of alcohol and other substances by children in Zimbabwe. 

This has raised grave concern in that if this pressing problem is left unaddressed, Zimbabwe risks losing some of its most capable and brightest minds to the scourge of drug abuse and addiction. 

Such concerns have elicited calls for the government and the attendant responsible authorities to critically address this issue for the collective well-being of the country’s children. 

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