Zimbabwean authorities say Botswana is the source of smuggled Bronco which has become a drug of choice among Zimbabwean urban youths.
Bronco, a prescription cough syrup, containing codeine and used to treat bronchitis, has become the drug of choice for Zimbabwe’s urban youth and local music stars. Although the thick, bitter syrup is usually recommended for use by the teaspoon, users swig it straight from the bottle, together with other drugs or alcohol, to achieve a sensational high.
Bronco abuse can lead to respiratory failure, cardiac arrest, depression, constipation and digestive problems and, although the Zimbabwean government has banned its import and distribution, it is still peddled on the streets for as little as US $3. Indications are that, because of lax conditions in Botswana, Zimbabwean drug pushers are finding it easier to source bronco from Botswana compared to other neighboring countries where the drug has been banned.
A Zimbabwean Counselors told the Zimbabwean newspaper that a lot of the students are hooked on bronco, a chemical which was put on the list of banned drugs in Zimbabwe, but which is smuggled in from neighboring Botswana. The newspaper quoted Norman Jesinawo of Munharaunda Edutainment Trust, saying the number of Zimbabweans addicted to bronco and prescription pills has grown seven-fold over the last five years, and the quantity of bronco seized in recent times has increased. The Trust runs a youth-based programme that conducts drug abuse campaigns in schools.