14 000+ nabbed in drug trafficking blitz

Source: The Chronicle – Breaking news

14 000+ nabbed in drug trafficking blitz 
Minister Kazembe Kazembe

Michelle Moyo, moyomichelle19@gmail.com 

LAW enforcement agents have stepped up their fight against drug trafficking with a total of 14 655 arrests made   in the past 15 months up to March this year.

Studies reveal an alarming trend in drug users, with young people constituting the majority. 

In 2023, 9 291 arrests were made, out of which 7 604 were young adults. 

The trend continued in the first quarter of 2024 where 5 364 additional arrests were made. 

The Government has declared drug abuse a national security threat and formed the National Committee on Drugs and Substance Abuse (NECDSA) to address the issue. 

In a question and answer session in Parliament on Wednesday, Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister, Kazembe Kazembe, said progress had been made by the police in apprehending drug peddlers. 

He said the police use various methods like joint operations to disrupt the drug trade, passenger profiling at all airports, and controlled delivery of identified drugs. 

He recommended a stricter approach to drug offences by imposing custodial sentences and amending existing laws.

“The police are joining hands with community members and other stakeholders to promote drug demand reduction principles and raising awareness of the consequences of drug and substance abuse,” said Minister Kazembe. 

“These campaigns are being done in Government institutions, private institutions, and all public places where gatherings take place, for example, bus terminus.

“Conducting impromptu or snap roadblocks along Beitbridge-Harare Road, Chirundu-Harare Road, Nyamapanda-Harare Road, Victoria Falls-Bulawayo Road, and Mutare Harare Road targeting cross-border vehicles and travellers, among others.

“Police officers are conducting controlled delivery of identified drugs and substances with a view of apprehending owners of identified drugs, this is done to try and eliminate the whole chain,” said the minister.

Minister Kazembe said he believes a stricter approach will serve as a stronger deterrent against this growing national problem.

“Our recommendations have been referred to the Attorney-General’s office, which has to amend the existing laws and recommendations by this office for amendment of all the existing laws                                                                                                  to deal with drug and substance abuse are being worked on by the policy and legal pillar to the national elimination committee on drug and substance abuse,” said Minister Kazembe.