President to launch National Plan against drug abuse

Blessings Chidakwa

Herald Reporter

CABINET has adopted a National Plan of Action which President Mnangagwa will launch as his administration continues to make concerted efforts to end drug and substance abuse, with over 6 000 people having been arrested and prosecuted countrywide.

Further, a National Co-ordinator will be appointed to steer policies and activities on drug and substance abuse. So far, drugs and substances worth more than $438 million have been intercepted.

Acting Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Dr Jenfan Muswere told a post-Cabinet briefing in Harare yesterday that Cabinet considered and approved the Report on Drug and Substance Abuse.

Minister Muswere said the report was presented by Defence and War Veterans Affairs Minister, Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, as chairman of the National Committee on Drug and Substance Abuse.

“A National Plan of Action has since been adopted. Its key components include the following; Law Enforcement Units specialising in drug and substance abuse’s response be decentralised coupled with equipping the Zimbabwe Republic Police’s Forensic Laboratories by the end of the Second Quarter.

“The Nation Action Plan on Drug and Substance Abuse will be launched by His Excellency the President at a date to be advised,” he said.  

The Minister said Cabinet also directed that seamless sub-national structures and family structures to heighten the response to the drug and substance abuse fight be established by the end of third quarter of 2023.

Minister Muswere said other components of the National Plan of Action include that multi-sectoral awareness campaigns be conducted to reduce the demand for drugs with religious leaders playing an active role in fighting the scourge through demand reduction.

“That there be robust resource mobilisation for all activities and encourage Corporate Social Investment by the private sector under this programme and that legal frameworks and policies on drug and substance abuse be reviewed and updated immediately,” he said.

Minister Muswere said after Cabinet established the National Committee on Drug and Substance Abuse on 19 April 2023 in order to up-scale the fight against the supply of illicit drug and substance abuse, it recorded several positives.

“Drugs and substances worth $438 654 692 were intercepted under Operation Clean-Up Zimbabwe with 6 156 accused persons being arrested and prosecuted across the country.

“A lot of people were reached with anti-drug information dissemination and campaigns in hotspot areas through Provincial and District structures, an out-patient rehabilitation and psychosocial support centre has since been established in Harare and similar centres will be set up in other provinces,” he said.

Minister Muswere said other notable achievements include assessment visits made to ports of entry and exits to ascertain illegal drug and substance trafficking and visits to mental health institutions and rehabilitation centres.

He said in future, the Government will establish rehabilitation and psycho-social support centres for drug and substance abuse survivors in order to ensure full rehabilitation and recovery.

“Cabinet warns all those who are selling liquor without the requisite liquor licences to desist from doing so and the law enforcement agents will take action against those in defiance of the statutes,” said Minister Muswere.

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