Latwell Nyangu

MORE than 6 000 suspects have been arrested in the Government’s anti-drugs blitz since January.

Cabinet has also approved the principles for the enactment of the Zimbabwe Drug and Substance Agency Bill, 2024.

It paves way for the establishment of an additional Security Service and specialised Drug and Substance Elimination Agency/National Drug Agency.

Speaking during the post-Cabinet briefing, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister, Dr Jenfan Muswere, said the Government is taking the fight seriously.

“Since January 2024, about 6 148 people were arrested, 677 were suppliers and 5 471 were end-users.

“A total of 106 illegal drug and substance trading bases were identified, raided and destroyed in Harare, Shamva, Chinhoyi, Bindura, Bulawayo and Mutare.

“51 liquor outlets were charged for operating without the correct licences , while 268 operators were also arrested for violating license conditions and 17 outlets had their licenses canceled for violating operating conditions.”

Dr Muswere said a total of 311 countrywide inspections on medicine outlets were conducted and 62 lines of medicines were confiscated.

“Awareness campaigns on drug and substance abuse are being accelerated targeting adults, youths, and children.

“The Youth Service in Zimbabwe training programme will start in June 2024 at Dadaya and Vumba Training Centres.

“In addition, as a key measure to reduce indulgence, ensuring financial inclusivity is being heightened and a total of US$20 000 has been loaned to youths across the country for income-generating projects through the Empower Bank.”

The Cabinet has also approved the Zimbabwe Multi-Sectoral Drug and Substance Abuse Plan 2024-2030.

It outlines a comprehensive strategic approach to address the escalating threat of drug and substance abuse to public health, economic growth, national security and social stability in Zimbabwe.

“Establishment of outpatient Psycho (1) Social Support Centres and parenting groups countrywide as well as the purchase of psychotropic medicines and food provisions for rehabilitation centers will be expedited,” said Dr Muswere.

“Drug and Substance Abuse has become a threat to economic development, social harmony, health and wellbeing, public order and security.”

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