POLICE have arr£sted 468 suspects countrywide for dealing in dr.ugs as the Government continues to heighten the fight against the illegal inflow of illicit dr.ugs, substances and alcohol.
President Mnangagwa established the Inter-Ministerial Taskforce to address the dru.g menace, which was elevated to the National Committee, chaired by Defence Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri.
Dru.g and substance abus.e is now one of the top-ranking disasters wreaking havoc in many societies across the world and Zimbabwe is not spared.
Recent studies done in Zimbabwe revealed an estimated 7,1 percent of young people abuse dru.gs, with the most prevalent dru.gs being cannabis, crystal meth, broncleer, skin lighteners, illicit beverages and body enlargement products.
Speaking during a post-Cabinet briefing yesterday Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Dr Jenfan Muswere said from the latest report presented by Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri, police ar.rested 468 offenders, 36 of which were suppliers while 432 were dr.ug users and consumers.
Of the 468 who were arr£sted 402 were males and 66 were females. Dr Muswere said 198 patients received drug rehabilitation services inclusive of treatment, medical detoxification and rehabilitation services.
“A total of 468 comprising 402 male and 66 female offenders were arr£sted. Out of the 468 offenders, 36 were suppliers who were referred to court, while 432 were drug users and consumers who paid deposit fines. Raids were conducted during the period under review and dru.gs were confiscated,” said Dr Muswere.
Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting services Dr Jenfan Muswere
“A total of four (dru.g peddling) bases were destroyed from three provinces, that is, two in Harare Metropolitan (Mbare and Epworth), one in Midlands (Gweru CBD) and one (1) in Mashonaland West (Gwayagwaya Shopping Centre).”
Dr Muswere said the Liquor Licensing Board conducted alcohol outlet compliance inspections across the country.
He said a total of 244 bottle stores, 197 bars, 90 nightclubs and 145 other outlets were monitored for compliance purposes. These inspections have enhanced the compliance of alcohol outlets.
Dr Muswere said Government drug and substance abu.se awareness campaigns continue to be conducted in learning institutions across the country, at various levels.
He said collective campaigns in the primary and secondary education levels have reached 16 825 learners.
Dr Muswere said the Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe seized an unregistered consignment of dr.ugs.
“The case was referred to the Zimbabwe Republic Police CID Department and investigations are underway. The nation is further informed that religious groups continue to scale up the fight against dru.g and substance abus£,” he said.
Dr Muswere said the Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs in Zimbabwe carried out awareness campaigns reaching 1 908 Muslim communities from 1 328 Mosques across the 10 provinces.
“Furthermore, the United Churches Council of Zimbabwe conducted a meeting which benefitted 150 residents at Hope Fountain in Bulawayo, while an estimated 1 200 congregants from Johanne Masowe ye Chipiri underwent a similar programme in Zaka District,” he said.
Dr Muswere said the Cabinet has resolved that provincial task force teams should strengthen support to all district programme activities and ensure that chiefs, church leaders and all local political leaders are actively involved.
He said the Drug and Substance Abuse Programme should be aligned to the Civil Protection Unit.
“Cabinet has also resolved that resource mobilisation committee be chaired by the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works and utilise resource mobilisation structures in civil protection. The command centre must be activated in order to fully support the programme in its day-to-day operation,” said Dr Muswere.
“Parliamentarians must be integrated in dru.g and substance abuse programming at sub-national structures.”
According to the World Drug Report 2023, the burden of dru.g and substance abu.se in Africa is disproportionally high amongst young people below the age of 35. Chronicle