Police escalate war on illegal drugs
Harare (New Ziana) – The police have arrested over 2 000 people since the beginning of the year for various drug related offences as authorities escalate the war on illegal drugs, a Cabinet Minister has said.
Zimbabwe is experiencing an upsurge in the use of highly toxic and addictive drugs such as crystal methamphetamine, heroin and cocaine, with estimates suggesting that up to more than half of the country’s youth population are into drugs.
In response, Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Kazembe Kazembe said the war against drugs had netted several drug peddlers and users.
“The police are currently carrying out raids under operation No to Crystal Meth, targeting illegal drug lords throughout the entire country and from January to 22 May, 2 159 people were arrested countrywide for various offences relating to drug abuse with 1183 arrests being made in Harare alone,” he told Parliament.
“On 17 June this year, 28 people were arrested in Mbare, Chitungwiza, Mabvuku, Epworth, Dzivaresekwa, Glen Norah, Mufakose, South View and Highfield on allegations of dealing in or consuming illicit drugs.”
Asked whether there were plans to ensure rehabilitation for addicts, Kazembe said an all-stakeholder approach was needed to win the fight.
“There is an Inter-Ministerial Committee that was set by His Excellency the President, comrade E.D Mnangagwa which is chaired by the Minister responsible for Labour, Public Services and Social Welfare, Professor Mavima and they are coming up with a strategy to ensure that it deals with such issues. I am aware that they already have a strategy paper and I am sure that at the opportune moment, the Minister will favour the House. Definitely something is being done in that regard,” he said.
Addressing National Youth Day commemorations in February, President Mnangagwa declared 2022 as the year of eradicating drug and substance abuse in Zimbabwe and warned drug cartels that the net was fast closing in on them as the war against illegal substances has been intensified.