Minister says sanctions fight against drug abuse 

Source: Minister says sanctions fight against drug abuse – The Standard

HOME Affairs minister Kazembe Kazembe says the country is failing to adequately finance national programmes such as the fight against drug abuse due to sanctions.

Earlier this month, the United States reviewed its sanctions regime  that has been in place since 2003 and began  targeting 11 individuals that include President Emmerson Mnangagwa,  his wife Auxillia, and Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, among others.


They were targeted under the Global Magnitsky sanctions programme on allegations of corruption and abuse of human rights.

Businessman Kudakwashe Tagirwei and his associated companies, Sakunda Holdings, Fossil Agro, and Fossil Contracting were also sanctioned.

All other individuals previously on the Zimbabwe sanctions were delisted.



Speaking during a United Nations conference on drugs and substance abuse in Austria last week, Kazembe said sanctions hampered the country’s fight against drug abuse.

“As developing countries, we are bearing the brunt of illegal economic sanctions imposed by some powerful countries in the west,” he said.

“Zimbabwe has been grappling with unilateral coercive measures since 2000, which have undermined the country’s access to quality foreign direct investment, affordable financing and debt reliefs initiatives.

“This obviously reduces the capacity to finance national programs, to mitigate the illicit drug challenges.”


Zanu PF and government officials have repeatedly cited  the restrictive measures as the reason behind  the country’s crippling economic problems, including hyperinflation and high poverty levels.

Kazembe said sanctions should be removed in their entirety.

“The government of the Republic of Zimbabwe therefore reiterates its call for the immediate, unconditional and total removal of these illegal sanctions as echoed by the African Union and Southern African Development Community, ”he said.

Kazembe also raised concern about the worsening drug problem and its impact on the youth.

“My country is deeply concerned about the worsening drug problem that is destroying the life and future of our young people,” he said.

“This is particularly very disconcerting given the challenges we continue to encounter from the effects of Covid -19 and pandemic and the ever increasing climate change induced disasters that exacerbates the vulnerability of our populations.”

The country is witnessing widespread drug and substance abuse among mainly youth frustrated by the harsh economic climate where jobs are scarce.

Mnangagwa has called for stiffer penalties against drug abusers and cartels supplying the intoxicants.

Reports have shown that new admissions at mental health institutions are drug abusers, mainly teenagers.