Rural Urban Youth Delinquency in Zimbabwe, the Nexus: Youth Delinquency

Rural Urban Youth Delinquency in Zimbabwe, the Nexus: Youth Delinquency

Obediah Dodo (Bindura University, Zimbabwe) and Christine Mwale (Bindura University, Zimbabwe)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-4165-3.ch012
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Zimbabwe's urban areas have been experiencing an alarming increase in violence and crime compared to the rural areas. This study explored the motivation for youth violence and crime in both rural and urban areas. Qualitatively, it compares youth-inflicted violence in the rural, Chikomba and Guruve against the urban areas, Seke urban, and Borrowdale, between 2000 and 2016. Eighty participants were drawn from a cross-section of the population. Theoretical underpinnings of the argument are derived from implicit theories held by the generality of Zimbabweans with regards to rural and urban youth. Data were collected from literature spanning from 1980-2016. Latent content analysis was employed to analyze data. The study established that while there is crime and violence in the two settings, the gravity and nature varies according to influences like poverty levels, level and rate of development, literacy levels, and motivating incentives from the third parties among others.
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It is against general implicit theories held by Zimbabweans that; youth in the rural areas are docile, naïve but respectful while those in the urban areas are clever, modern but immoral; that youth in the low density areas are peaceful, educated but hard drug addicts while those in high density areas are backward, thuggish and violent that this study was conducted. There has been a general realisation that while incidences of violence have been on an upward trend in most parts of Zimbabwe, there has not been enough empirical studies to elaborately explain both latent and visible causes and nurturing factors behind.

Since the period under study in 2000, apparently the era of the manifestation of a lively opposition political movement and the launch of the Land Reform Programme, Zimbabwe’s economy has shrunk to record levels suffocating with it employment levels, social service delivery and investment opportunities. These results have affected almost every part of the country thereby forcing millions of Zimbabweans cross the borders for greener pastures. Resultantly, a sizeable number of the skilled, productive and educated Zimbabweans withdrew their services from sustaining and developing the local economy thereby creating more poverty and opening more opportunities for conflicts and violence.

It is usually ahead of major political events that Zimbabwean youth engage in bloody violence. In between, most of the recorded cases of violence emanate from minor criminal activities and abuse of drugs and alcohol. However, what has been of concern regarding youth violence is the variation between rural and urban youth-induced violence and the intra-urban youth-induced violence. From the previous studies, Reeler (2003), Dodo and Msorowegomo (2012) and RAU (2012), it is given that there were more cases of violence in urban areas than rural during the period under review while there were also more cases in the high density than in the low density during the same period. In year 2002, 2008 and 2013, studies by Reeler (2003), ZPP (2008), Dodo and Msorowegomo (2012)RAU (2012) and Zimstats (2015) show the following statistics for the interval analysis presented in tables below. Note that these statistics were taken from the recorded cases with various institutions in respective areas following the politicisation and weakening of the Police service. Therefore, there may be other unreported cases not considered in this study.

Table 1.
2002 Statistics
Assault common9246201 54433241543 478
Culpable homicide1121314216
Malicious damage14714228921160271
TOTAL1 5799492 5284 5153024 817

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