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National drug and substance abuse action plan to be launched soon


Harare, (New Ziana) – Zimbabwe is set to launch a national action plan on drugs and substance abuse to guide programs and interventions, a Cabinet Minister has said.

Defence Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri said this at the Roman Catholic Church Chitungiwza deanery campaign against drug and substance abuse and child marriages at Seke Teachers’ College, near Makoni Shopping Centre at the weekend.

In a speech on her behalf by Harare Metropolitan Provincial Minister of State and Devolution Charles Tawengwa, she said President Emmerson Mnangagwa is expected to launch the 2024-2030 action plan after it recently got cabinet approval.

Muchinguri-Kashiri called on private sector players, civil society organisations and religious denominations to partner the government in converting identified idle provincial COVID-19 centres into stand-alone rehabilitation and treatment centres to make the service accessible and affordable to the victims of drugs and substance abuse.

“To date, we have successfully converted Bindura Covid-19 centre to a standalone Drug Treatment and Rehabilitation Centre and we require such facilities in all the 10 provinces of the country,” she said.

Muchinguri-Kashiri, who chairs the National Committee on drugs and substance abuse, said Cabinet had also approved the guiding principles for establishing the Drug Enforcement Agency.

She told the campaign, running under the theme ‘journeying together against drug and substance abuse and child marriages’, that the DEA will be responsible for coordinating and monitoring the activities of the various stakeholders in the fight against drug and substance abuse. At the same time, the CID (Central Investigation Department) Drugs and Narcotics Unit was decentralised to all 10 provinces to reduce the supply of drugs and dangerous substances to communities.

“We commend the courts for their seriousness in dealing with the drug and substance abuse epidemic, with some suppliers sentenced to 15 years in prison,” she said.

“The Youth Service Bill was developed and seeks to rebrand the Youth Service programme and provide mechanisms for mainstreaming the youths in social, economic, and political spaces, as well as the sustenance of vocational training centres as hubs for local community development.”

The pillar on policy and legislation is seized with the review of the existing legislation, particularly the Dangerous Drugs Act [Chapter 15:02] and the Medicines Allied and Substances Control Act [Chapter 15:03] to ensure punitive measures are put in place, she said.

New Ziana

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