Zimbabwe to enact anti-drug abuse legislation amid rising cases

Zimbabwe to enact anti-drug abuse legislation amid rising cases

By Xinhua

HARARE: The Zimbabwean government will enact legislation to bolster its fight against drug and substance abuse, a cabinet minister said on Wednesday.

Zimbabwe has faced the growing challenge of drug and substance abuse by youths in recent years, prompting the government to step up efforts to combat the scourge.

An inter-ministerial task force chaired by Defence Minister Oppah Muchinguri Kashiri has since been established and is spearheading several joint efforts to curb the scourge, including conducting frequent raids on drug suppliers, dealers and peddlers.

Addressing a post-cabinet media briefing, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Jenfan Muswere said a total of 5,367 drug offenders were arrested during the period from July. 7 to Sept. 23, 2023, a jump from 4,328 arrested for the whole year of 2022.

In addition to establishing drugs and narcotics units at major ports of entry to curtail the inflow of drugs, the government has also increased surveillance on licensed liquor outlets as well as increasing public awareness of the dangers of drug abuse, Muswere added.

“Going forward, Cabinet agreed to enact the relevant legislation for the establishment of a Drug Elimination Agency to govern and coordinate all national activities on drug and substance abuse,” he said.

The minister said the government will convert all idle provincial COVID-19 isolation facilities into multi-sectoral drug rehabilitation centres, as part of measures to strengthen its anti-drug and substance abuse program.

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