THREE women were intercepted in Harare and Mutare in separate incidents after they were found in possession of 281kg of mbanje and 50 bottles of BronCleer cough syrup.
Another 75 people have been arrested countrywide for dealing in crystal methamphetamine drugs, commonly known as “mutoriro”.
The three women are Patricia Munyengeri (38), Jennifer Mahachi (28) who were both arrested in the city while Chenal Mukungatu (34) was arrested in Mutare.
Munyengeri was arrested in Epworth and found with 20kg x 13 bags mbanje weighing 260kg while Mahachi was found in possession of 50 x 100mls of BronCleer cough syrup.
In Mutare, Mukungatu was intercepted with 21kg mbanje along the Mutare–Chimanimani Road.
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi confirmed the arrests.
“Detectives in Harare acted on a tip off and arrested Patricia Munyengeri aged 38 at her house in Epworth for unlawful dealing in dangerous drugs. The suspect was found in possession of 20kg x 13 bags of loose dagga weighing 260kg. In another case, detectives in Harare acted on a tip off and arrested Jennifer Mahachi aged 28 for possession of unregistered medicines for sale. The suspect was found in possession of 50 x 100mls of BronCleer syrup,” he said.
Asst Comm Nyathi added, “In a related case, on December 31, 2021 detectives in Mutare who were on patrol along Mutare-Chimanimani Road arrested Chenal Mukungatu aged 34 for illegal possession of 21kg of dagga along Dangamvura Link Road.”
Meanwhile, since December 27, 2021 to January 2, 2022, 75 people were arrested countrywide for dealing in crystal methamphetamine drug under the ongoing operation ‘No to Crystal Meth’.
Most of the suspects are still assisting police with investigations and will appear in court soon.
The arrests came reports that abuse of the dangerous drug called crystal methamphetamine, commonly known as “mutoriro”, “dombo” or “guka”, by youths has reached alarming levels with at least 100 young men and women appearing at the Harare Magistrates Court.
The rise in cases where people are dealing in dangerous drugs is blamed for the surge in cases of drug-induced mental illnesses.
Most of the people developing mental illnesses from the drug are not in hospital or being treated as outpatients, but are seen roaming the streets while others are behaving abnormally at shopping centres.
In most communities, young boys and girls who abuse the dangerous drugs have changed their behaviour, but remain part of the community until the illness becomes more pronounced.
They are only taken to psychiatric units when they turn violent, show suicidal tendencies or cause problems to others.
At the Harare Magistrates Court, the cases now come daily, a development that prompted the authorities to allocate them to the Special Anti-Corruption Court, which has handled at least 100 cases since July last year, of either possessing crystal meth or abusing it.
Although drug addicts may abuse other dangerous drugs like dagga, ganja cakes, a prohibited cough syrup called BronCleer (bronco) and illicit beers, crystal meth is dominating the serious end of the drug abuse spectrum.