President Mnangagwa warns drug cartels

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Harare (New Ziana) – President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Monday declared 2022 as the year of eradicating drug and substance abuse in Zimbabwe, warning drug cartels that the net was fast closing in on them as the war against illegal substances has been intensified.

He said this while addressing thousands of youths at an event to commemorate the National Youth Day.

President Mnangagwa said several strategies, at government and local level, had been lined up to achieve this including reviewing the national drugs Act, to bring it in line with current developments.

“2022 must see our nation eliminate drug and substance abuse. I thus encourage the youth to use platforms such as the national clean-up day which is held every first Friday of the month to share information towards fighting drugs and substance abuse,” he said.

“At government level, the inter-ministerial committee on drugs and substance abuse will leave no stone unturned in fighting the scourge. The unity of purpose, as well as the collective spirit we have demonstrated in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic must be extended to extinguish the scourge of drugs and substance abuse.

“Community policing strategies must be enhanced to expose and dismantle the drug production sites, networks and supply chains within our provinces, districts, wards, residential areas and villages. If you are found selling drugs, be warned. If I was not a Christian I was going to declare that when you get caught selling drugs you must consume all the drugs you were selling because you are destroying the future of Zimbabwe.”

Drug and illegal substance use has grown in Zimbabwe, with the youth mostly in poor communities falling prey to the scourge.

Highly addictive drugs such as crystal meth commonly referred to in Shona as Guka, and cocaine have become widely available in most high density suburbs.

President Mnangagwa said an inter-ministerial committee on drug and substance abuse had also been established to spearhead efforts to combat drug abuse.

Over and above this, he said, a national drug abuse fund had been established through the 2022 national budget to cater for the creation of drug rehabilitation centres and programmes.

“No stone will be left unturned as we scale up the fight to expose drug cartels that are peddling drugs such as guka, bronco, glue, musombodhiya among many other dangerous drugs such as mutoriro, meth and cocaine,” he said.

But, ultimately, President Mnangagwa said youths had an even bigger role to play in the fight.

“The youth must take responsibility to fight, resist and reject drug and substance abuse,” he said.

“The time to detoxify and rid the minds of young people from drugs and other social ills is now. I call upon you the younger generation to be responsible, do not look elsewhere, look at yourselves and say, what am I doing to build my country. What am I doing to help my fellow young people?”
New Ziana

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