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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Government intensifies fight against inflow of illicit drugs

Story by Abigirl Tembo, Health Editor

GOVERNMENT has intensified the fight against inflow of illicit drugs and substances throughout the country using different methods which include monitoring suspected outlets.

Four drug bases have been destroyed in three provinces while 468 people were arrested in connection with the illegal inflow of illicit drugs into the country.

This came out during this week’s post cabinet briefing presented by the Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Dr Jenfan Muswere.

“A total of 468 (402 male and 66 female) offenders were arrested. Out of the 468 offenders, 36 were suppliers who were referred to court, whilst 432 were drug users and consumers who paid deposit fines. Raids were conducted during the period under review and drugs were confiscated. A total of four bases were destroyed from three provinces, that is, two in Harare Metropolitan (Mbare and Epworth), one in Midlands (Gweru CBD) and one in Mashonaland West (Gwayagwaya Shopping Centre).Cabinet wishes to inform the nation that the Liquor Licensing Board conducted alcohol outlets compliance inspections across the country in the cities, municipalities, towns and rural areas. A total of 244 bottle stores, 197 bars, 90-night clubs and 145 other outlets were monitored for compliance purposes. These inspections have enhanced the compliance of alcohol outlets,” he said.

Also discussed was the cholera outbreak in Buhera District, where a cumulative 726 suspected cases of cholera have been recorded alongside 27 deaths.

“The main drivers of the cholera outbreak in Buhera District included lack of safe water and use of river water. Pertaining to the Buhera District Cholera Response, Cabinet approved as follows: that doctors be deployed to visit all cholera treatment centres in the district; that more staff be mobilized to support the cholera treatment centres; that the setting up of cholera treatment camps and oral hydration points closer to the community be finalised; that eight boreholes be drilled in the district; and that community engagement and capacity building of traditional and religious leaders on public health measure to control cholera be intensified; that all funerals in Buhera district should be supervised; and that cholera education will be intensified in schools. Cabinet in general approved as follows: that there be Intensified Risk Communication and Community Engagement in the cholera response; that cholera tests kits be sourced for the rural community centres; that all boreholes be fully equipped; that all deaths be documented, and burials be supervised; and that there be continued intensified public health measures to contain the outbreak,” he added.

Cabinet went on to consider and approve the signing and ratification of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights to Social Protection and Social Security.

“The nation is being informed that the protocol provides for the right to social protection and social security to all citizens in a non-discriminatory manner. It extends the right to vulnerable groups like women, children, persons with disabilities, and informal rural communities, with the aim of changing lives and eradicating poverty. The nation is advised that the Protocol provides for instances where social assistance should be rendered, and when citizens should make social protection contributions that will protect them during maternity, retirement, or sickness among others. The State is also obliged to adequately fund social protection systems, the health sector, the agricultural sector as well as other relevant sectors to eradicate poverty.”

Other issues discussed in this Tuesday’s cabinet meeting include accession of the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of all Migrant Workers and Members of their families, preparations for the SADC Summit to be hosted by Zimbabwe next year as well as an update on Zimbabwe’s participation at Osaka Expo 2025.

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