BY MIRIAM MANGWAYA
THE Children’s Parliament has called on Finance minister Mthuli Ncube to capacitate law enforcement agents to deal with rising of drug abuse cases among youth.
Drug and substance abuse are reported to be on the rise in the country, forcing President Emmerson Mnangagwa to declare war on drug cartels in June this year.
Addressing a Parliament pre-budget seminar in Victoria Falls, Child President Menzimuhle Ncube said the 2022 budget should allocate resources for setting up drug rehabilitation and treatment centres.
Ncube said young people were increasingly resorting to drugs because of depression due to socio-economic issues, hence the need for government to capacitate them to be economically productive.
“Another pandemic has hit us and as we speak thousands of young people are suffering from alcohol, drug and substance misuse and abuse in our communities,” Ncube said.
“As has become the norm, our attentive government, alive to emerging issues, put together a taskforce in which youth are playing a role in developing programmes to combat this scourge. Alcohol and drug abuse are sometimes a sign that our youth are suffering from depression and are failing to cope with certain situations, hence they seek solace in drugs; and in other cases, drug abuse leads our youth to be perpetrators of crime and victims of mental illnesses induced by addiction and abuse of drugs.”
The child President said the 2022 budget should, therefore, cater for leadership and self-training programmes to strengthen young people’s resilience on socio-economic challenges they might be facing.
“This, therefore, calls for more investment in the health sector to cater for the mental well-being of young people who find it difficult to cope with current unforeseen changes in the economy, and social environments they exist in. Mental health challenges result in death, crime and inactivity among young people; and as we poise
ourselves for the targets to achieve upper-middle economic status by 2030, we cannot afford any of this.”
Last Thursday, Health deputy minister John Mangwiro said government was working on a comprehensive plan to erect rehabilitation centres for drug addicts.