Police have arrested more than 2,000 people so far this year for various drug offenses as authorities step up the war on illicit drugs, a cabinet minister has said.
Zimbabwe is experiencing a surge in the use of highly toxic and addictive drugs such as crystal meth, heroin and cocaine, with estimates suggesting that up to more than half of the country’s population
young people are into drugs.
In response, the Minister of Interior and Cultural Heritage, Kazembe Kazembe, said the war on drugs had attracted several drug traffickers and users.
“Police are currently carrying out Operation No to Crystal Meth raids targeting illegal drug lords across the country and from January to May 22, 2,159 people were arrested across the country for
various drug offenses with 1,183 arrests made in Harare alone,” he told parliament.
“On June 17 this year, 28 people were arrested in Mbare, Chitungwiza, Mabvuku, Epworth, Dzivaresekwa, Glen Norah, Mufakose, South View and Highfield on allegations of trafficking or consuming illicit drugs.
When asked if there were any plans to provide drug rehabilitation, Minister Kazembe said an approach involving all stakeholders was needed to win the fight.
“There is an inter-ministerial committee which has been set up by His Excellency the President, Comrade ED Mnangagwa, which is chaired by the Minister responsible for Labour, Public Services and Social Welfare, Professor Mavima and they are proposing a strategy to ensure that it addresses such issues.
“I am aware that they already have a strategic document and I am sure that at the appropriate time the Minister will favor the House. Certainly something is being done in this regard,” he said.
Addressing National Youth Day commemorations in February, President Mnangagwa declared 2022 the year of eradicating drug addiction in Zimbabwe and warned drug cartels that the net was fast closing in on them as the war on illegal substances intensified. — New Ziana