THE mushrooming of gambling machines in most parts of the country has raised concern among parents and guardians who have since called on local authorities to move in quickly and arrest the situation. Liswaniso Ndalamei of Makeni Konga area said children were now forced to look for money to go and spend on gambling machines. Mr Ndalamei said some children had reached the extent of stealing money and foodstuffs from their parents so that they could go gambling. “The council should move in quickly; youths are now stealing food among other things to go and exchange for gambling. Here in Makeni Konga most children and youths are dropping out of school due to this gambling machine called Bonanza,” he said. Maltida Bwembya, a resident of Chawama, said her son has dropped out of school because of gambling. She said despite reporting him to the police and the school authority, the situation has remained the same. Ms. Bwembya urged relevant authorities such as the Ministry of Home Affairs and Lusaka City Council to intensify patrols and inspections of townships to see how youths spent their time in order to safeguard them from vices such as gambling. Meanwhile, Apostle Cleverson Mumba of God’s Hearing Ministries, commenting on the issue, said ‘‘time for reckoning was getting closer’’ because the world was becoming to an end. Apostle Mumba said these were the days of Noah, Sodom and Gomorha because people did not want to change but clung to doing evil. “These are the last days. People including children are doing things of their own without fearing their parents or God, and this is why horrible sicknesses, deaths and disasters are now occurring anyhow because God is not happy with his children,” he said. Apostle Mumba said parents should get back to the word of God by having partial fasting and praying, repentance and forgiveness because some of the children were haunted by Satan and others were born through the powers of witchdoctors. “Some of these children you see are not born through Jesus Christ but through witchdoctors, hence they are controlled by many evil things. How can a child or youth be addicted to gambling? Gambling is for thieves and criminals,’’ he said.