The Chairperson of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Drug and Substance Abuse, Honourable Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, presented a comprehensive report on the government’s ongoing battle against illicit drugs, substances, and alcohol.
The report indicates a substantial commitment to curbing illegal drug activities across the nation.
Nationwide Arrests and Raids
A total of 468 individuals, comprising 402 males and 66 females, found themselves apprehended in the nationwide crackdown. Among these, 36 were identified as suppliers and have been referred to court, while the remaining 432 were drug users and consumers who were required to pay deposit fines. Furthermore, law enforcement authorities conducted a series of successful raids, leading to the confiscation of various illicit substances. The operations also resulted in the destruction of four drug distribution bases located in Harare Metropolitan, Midlands, and Mashonaland West.
Stringent Alcohol Compliance Measures
In a bid to ensure the responsible sale of alcohol, the Liquor Licensing Board conducted extensive compliance inspections at alcohol outlets across cities, municipalities, towns, and rural areas. The inspections encompassed 244 bottle stores, 197 bars, 90 nightclubs, and 145 other alcohol-related establishments. These actions have had a positive impact on enhancing compliance within the alcohol industry.
Education Institutions Lead Awareness Efforts
Primary, higher, and tertiary education institutions have played a pivotal role in raising awareness about drug and substance abuse. Ongoing weekly campaigns and collective efforts have reached an impressive 16,825 students, with a strong focus on primary and secondary education. Community outreach initiatives, supported by Information, Education, and Communication materials, are further contributing to the cause.
Medicines Control Authority Seizes Unregistered Drugs
The Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe (MCAZ) recently intercepted an unregistered consignment of drugs, a case now under investigation by the Zimbabwe Republic Police CID Department.
Religious Groups Amplify Anti-Drug Campaigns
Religious organizations are actively engaged in combating drug and substance abuse. The Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs in Zimbabwe conducted awareness campaigns, reaching 1,908 Muslim communities through 1,328 mosques across all ten provinces. Similarly, the United Churches Council of Zimbabwe organized a meeting benefitting 150 residents in Bulawayo, while approximately 1,200 congregants from Johanne Masowe ye Chipiri took part in a similar program in Zaka District.
Rehabilitation Services for Patients
A total of 198 individuals, comprising 184 males and 14 females, received comprehensive drug rehabilitation services, including treatment, medical detoxification, and rehabilitation for referred and walk-in clients.
Cabinet’s Resolutions for a Stronger Anti-Drug Initiative
In light of these developments, the Cabinet has made several resolutions to further strengthen the fight against drug and substance abuse, including enhanced support at the district level, alignment with the Civil Protection Unit, mobilization of resources through a dedicated committee, the activation of a Command Centre for day-to-day operations, and the integration of parliamentarians into sub-national drug and substance programming. These measures reflect the government’s commitment to ensuring a more robust and effective approach to tackling this pressing issue.