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MEMBERS of the public should support Government efforts to stamp out drug abuse by helping the police identify drug peddlers in their respective communities.
The police should also be on high alert for the drug pushers who have adopted new strategies of using street vendors, street kids and young boys who wash cars in the city centre to sell drugs on their behalf.
We reiterate that the war on drugs can only be achieved through collaboration between authorities and members of the public.
Yesterday, Bulawayo and Matabeleland North provinces held Provincial Drug and Substance Abuse Task Force meetings at the Mhlahlandlela Government Complex in Bulawayo to try and proffer solutions to the drug scourge.
Primary and Secondary Education Minister Torerai Moyo chaired the Bulawayo meeting which was also attended by the Bulawayo Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister Judith Ncube as well as the Provincial Affairs and Devolution Permanent Secretary Mr Paul Nyoni.
Industry and Commerce Minister Dr Sithembiso Nyoni chaired the Matabeleland North meeting where Matabeleland North Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister Richard Moyo and Provincial Affairs and Devolution Permanent Secretary Ms Sithandiwe Ncube were part of the meeting.
Dr Nyoni said President Mnangagwa has instructed Government to leave no stone unturned in dealing with the drug issue, hence the deployment of Cabinet Ministers to assist provinces come up with strategies to deal with the scourge.
“Drugs and substance abuse have a devastating impact on society at large if urgent action is not taken. Drug and substance abuse is now one of the top ranking disasters, wreaking havoc in many societies and Zimbabwe is not spared. The country is witnessing an increase in drug use, misuse and abuse in communities with the youth being the most affected,” said Dr Nyoni.
“What is happening is very serious, I visited Khami Prison and there were 300 young people who were in Khami Prison because of drug abuse. If Khami Prison alone has those numbers, that should alarm parents. If you go to Ingutsheni Central Hospital, it is fully packed with some of our drunken children and some of them now have mental illnesses.
“So the President is saying this is urgent because we have to curb it and make sure that those who are hooked onto alcohol and substance abuse are rehabilitated and brought back to society. We can’t wait a day longer. The President has said we need to be vicious in dealing with this issue.”
She said crystal meth and cannabis constitute the most abused drugs while alcohol, some of which whose alcohol content is suspicious and Broncleer among other unlicensed medicines is of major concern.
Dr Nyoni said while drugs being abused by youths to get high were most prevalent, there is also a concern over women who were taking unregulated drugs to enhance their bodies.