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Govt to introduce drones to curb border drug smuggling: Minister

13/02/2017 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter
 
 
RELATED STORIES

THE Government plans to introduce drones in efforts to curb rampant drug smuggling along the country’s borders, a deputy minister has revealed.

Home Affairs deputy minister Obedingwa Mguni told Senate this past week that most dangerous drugs manufactured abroad were being brought into the country through the country’s porous borders.

Mguni said drug trafficking was “a world syndrome that is challenging all under-developed countries”.

He said some of the brands manufactured in countries like Columbia, Brazil and Mozambique “where there are plants” were entering the country through the country’s “very weak boundaries without security barriers”.

“By security barriers, I mean that some of the parts within the country we have got rivers like Limpopo, Zambezi where people cannot just cross but if you go to the eastern side you can drive your cattle and walk across,” Mguni said.

He was responding to a question by Mutare Senator Keresensia Chabuka who wanted to know the government’s policy on dealing with drug smuggling and rampant abuse especially by Zimbabwean youths.

“A lot of people think they will come through the official border post. No, there are areas where they just cross into a country without being detected.

“However, we have implemented new technology. We are bridging in drones that are able to fly, patrolling along the border post.

“We have an inter-ministerial committee which involves finance and other ministries like the Ministry of Mines where we are now buying those machines so that they can fly to take care of those boundaries to see who is crossing so that we search those people.

“Most of the drug carriers are using such areas.”

A drone is described as an unmanned aircraft whose origins can be traced to the military. The first military drones used in the 1930s were given cameras and turned into reconnaissance vehicles that were used in the Vietnam War in the Sixties.  More recently, military drones have been fitted with missiles.

Meanwhile, in his response, Mguni also urged ordinary Zimbabweans to also assist police in detecting drug dealers.

"The fight against drugs is not only with the police, it is also with the public as we are.

“We need to identify places where we are suspecting that there could be drugs and there could be drug trading and then we report to the nearest police station covering that area so that we arrest those culprits," Mguni said.



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