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Churches call for unity in combating illicit drug trafficking, substance abuse

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By Tinei Tuhwe


The Zimbabwe Council of Churches (ZCC) has expressed concern over the alarming rate of drug abuse and illicit trafficking in the country.

This follows the launch of the Zimbabwe Multi-Sectoral Drug and Substance Abuse Plan (2024-2030) by President Emmerson Mnangagwa which coincided with the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.

Zimbabwe Multi-Sectoral Drug and Substance Abuse Plan (2024-2030) was launched in response to the widespread issue of drug and substance abuse, especially among young people where various initiatives have been implemented to raise awareness and combat the problem.

These efforts include awareness programs and targeted operations by law enforcement agencies, resulting in the arrest of numerous drug suppliers and users who take different types of drugs such as broncleer, marijuana and crystal meth.

Despite these measures, the scourge persists, highlighting the need for continued and intensified efforts to address the root causes of drug abuse and support those affected.

The ZCC emphasized that Zimbabweans must unite to tackle the country’s escalating drug abuse and illicit trafficking crisis, particularly among young people.

“On this International Day Against Drug Abuse and illicit Trafficking, we come together as Zimbabweans to address the alarming rates of drug abuse and illicit trafficking in our nation.

“According to recent statistics, drug abuse among Zimbabwean youth has increased significantly in recent years with continued reports of many struggling with addiction,” said the ZCC.

The ZCC also acknowledged the devastating effects of drug and substance abuse, including increased risk of mental health disorders, sexually transmitted diseases, and deaths resulting from overdose.

They also recognized the humanitarian challenges posed by drug abuse, including increased cycles of poverty, violence, and exploitation.

Inspired by this year’s theme, “The evidence is clear: invest in prevention,” the ZCC commended the government’s efforts in combating drug abuse and illicit trafficking.

These efforts include the establishment of an Inter-ministerial Committee, the National Drug Master Plan (2020-2025), the Zimbabwe National Drug Control Board, and amendments to the Dangerous Drugs Act and the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform).

The ZCC encouraged continued collaboration between authorities, civil society, and faith-based organizations to address the social determinants of drug abuse, such as poverty, unemployment, and other underlying factors contributing to drug abuse.

“In this regard, ZCC encourages continued collaboration between authorities, civil society and faith-based organisations to address this challenge mainly by addressing social determinants of drug and substance abuse such as poverty, unemployment and other underlying factors contributing to drug abuse.

“We hope that these efforts will go a long way in combating the drug and substance abuse pandemic,” said the ZCC.