Harare (New Ziana) – Suppliers of illicit drugs being abused by youths should be arrested and jailed to rid society of the ills caused by substance abuse, a Cabinet Minister has said.
Addressing the National Youth Day commemorations on Monday , Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Paul Mavima said cutting the supply of illicit substances would go a long way in dealing with drug abuse.
“Those who supply drugs to our youths must rot in jail,” he said.
The commemorations are running under the theme, “Alleviating drug and substance abuse by youths”.
Zimbabwe is experiencing an upsurge in drug abuse cases and most of those abusing the drugs are young people.
The youths are turning to hard drugs such as heroin, cocaine and crystal methamphetamine.
Mavima, who also chairs the inter-ministerial committee on National Drug and Substance abuse, said the team hit the ground running targetting mainly ridding the society of illicit drugs supplies .
“Let us redouble our efforts in order to save this generation,” he said.
Speaking at the same occasion, a survivor of drug abuse, Tabeth Mwayera concurred with Mavima on the need for law enforcers to imprison suppliers of illicit drugs and substances.
Another survivor, Kudakwashe Madzima, leader of the Mbare township chapter of the Zimbabwe Civil Liberties and Drug Network urged the government to decentralise rehabilitation services so that all provinces have at least one centre.
He said some youths who fail to get support end up roaming the streets.
Kumbirai Dhliwayo, a survivor of alcohol abuse and founder of a rehab organisation – Healing Men, said there was need to educate the youths on the dangers of drug, alcohol and substance abuse.
“If we do not educate our youths about drug abuse, we will lose this generation,” he said.