Cabinet considers National Committee to fight drugs and substance abuse
Written by Skyz Metro FM on April 13, 2023
By Tafadzwa Mukome
Drug and substance abuse affecting mostly the youth throughout the country has led to cabinet considering the establishment of a National Committee to tame the menace in the manner other scourges such as the COVID-19 pandemic were fought.
The composition and terms of reference of the national committee which will involve other stakeholderswill be made public in due course.
In the post cabinet media briefing on Tuesday, Minister of Information Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Monica Mutsvangwa said cabinet was concerned about the increase in the abuse of dangerous drugs.
She said, “Cabinet is deeply concerned about the increase in drugs and substance abuse, which poses a danger to family life and society. The Drug and Substance Abuse Unit, within the Department of Social Welfare in the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare has since been strengthened for effective coordination and programming of activities on curbing drug and substance abuse.
The Inter-Ministerial Task Force on Drug and Substance Abuse technical officers are continuously being trained on curbing drug and substance abuse by the Government with support from the World Health Organisation”.
Meanwhile The Inter-Ministerial Task Force working with the Zimbabwe Republic Police launched the operation, “No to dangerous drugs and illicit substances,” which has led to the arrest and prosecution of a total of 6 156 accused persons. The surveillance activities have also resulted in the recovery of illicit drugs.
“Under the Operation Clean Up Zimbabwe Campaign, the Inter-Ministerial Task Force managed to recover large quantities of dangerous drugs and substances comprising crystal meth, cocaine, ecstasy, dagga, broncleer, histalix and benylyn.
The nation is further being informed that dangerous drug and substance suppliers will be tracked down and prosecuted, with deterrent sentences set to be introduced. Culprits will be named and shamed. More patrols will be mounted to curb the sale of dangerous drugs and substances, while liquor outlet owners will be required to operate within stipulated business hours. Surveillance is being enhanced at all ports of entry and exit with personnel being trained in order to effectively detect the trafficking of dangerous drugs and substances”, said Minister Mutsvangwa.
Of paramount importance in ending the scourge is the recovery process of addicts through the provision of Psycho-social support, Community and Social re-integration, which according to the Minister is currently ongoing at district offices.
“The nation is being informed that more rehabilitation centres for victims of drug and substance abused are being set up in major cities and towns in order to relieve pressure from existing institutions. Concurrently, steps are being taken to mobilise the whole of society from the family unit to villages, Headmen and Chiefs, religious organisations, schools, law enforcement agencies, prisons, youth skills training institutions as well as health centres, in order to achieve the much-needed traction in tackling the drug and substance abuse scourge.
Cabinet has also resolved to adequately equip youth training centres and to revive the broader National Youth Service Programme in order to develop youths into productive citizens. Youth empowerment will be enhanced through information communication technology (ICT) skills training, among other skills that are essential in running projects for self and household sustenance”, adde