SHANNISE DZOBO

MASVINGO – The Zimbabwe Republic Police has arrested 2618 people from Januaryt to July this year for drug abuse and related issues, GreatZimbabwe University Pro Vice Chancellor Prof Moses Chimbari has said.

Prof Chimbari who was standing in for GZU Vice Chancellor, Prof Rungano Zvobgo said this at the belated International Day against Drug Abuse and World Suicide Prevention Day commemorations at the university’s Robert Mugabe School of Education last week in Masvingo.

Prof Chimbari said that of the 2618 people arrested from January to July this year, 1976 are males and 642 are females and of those, 557 accused persons were referred to court, those above 35 years were 2061 and below 35 years were 870.

A total of 74 cases went to the courts for trial and managed to get convictions and the offenders were sentenced to community service and imprisonment.

Forty three cases are still before the courts due to forensic reports that are still pending.

A total of 1748 were arrested and 21 bases destroyed countrywide as the Police intensified the fight against the scourge of drug abuse.

The top ten most used drugs by the youths in Zimbabwe were found to be Crystal Meth popularly known as ‘Guka’, dagga (mbanje), cocaine, heroine, cough syrups (Bronco), skin lighteners, body enlargement products, sex enhancers, illicit beverages (musombodiya) and all unregistered medicine which are not supposed to be used in the country.

The occasion was also graced by the Minister of State for Masvingo Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Ezra Chadzamira and Deputy Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Lovemore Matuke.

“Ladies and gentlemen, the drug and substance abuse menace has robbed our Zimbabwean society of its sanity and the consequences are far reaching and not limited to family disintergration, abuse, death, low productivity at workplaces, gender based violence and heightened prevalence of HIV/AIDS and COVID-19 virus therefore the redress of these depends upon the effectiveness and efficiency of our approaches as key stakeholders in the fight against the menace,” said Chadzamira.

Matuke also reiterated the issue saying that the drug and substance abuse menace is more prevalent amongst the youth but the activities should target everyone in order to attain a healthy and drug free Zimbabwe.

The World Health Organization (WHO), Pamumvuri, SayWhat and mobile network giant Econet Wireless were represented at the commemorations as key stakeholders.

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