Government explains framework to tackle drug and substance abuse

By Owen Mandovha

Government has established a multi-sectoral approach to tackle the menacing challenge of drug abuse while President Emerson Mnangagwa is expected to officially open this year’s edition of the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair.

Senator Monica Mutsvangwa, Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services made the announcement during today’s post-cabinet briefing in Harare.

In response to the widespread drug and substance abuse Government has adopted a multi-sectoral approach to tackle the problem especially among the youths while at the same time thwarting the supply chains of these dangerous substances.

This was announced by the Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting, Senator Monica Mutsvangwa in a post cabinet media briefing in Harare this Tuesday.

“Following the setting up of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on addressing substance abuse menace among the youth, Cabinet considered and approved the report which was presented by the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, Hon. P. Mavima as the Chair of the Inter-Ministerial Committee,” she said. 

She added: “Regarding the response to the menace, a multi-disciplinary and multi-sectoral approach has been adopted in order to arrest the situation. This includes intensification of prevention, harm reduction, treatment, rehabilitation, reduction of demand and elimination of supply and availability of illicit and over the counter substances and drugs on the market. The capacities, efficiency and activities of the police, justice and customs department will be complemented and strengthened.”

Senator Mutsvangwa also announced that His Excellency President Emerson Mnangagwa will officially open the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair which will also be graced by a host of foreign exhibitors.

“His Excellency the President will officially open the Fair on 23 September, 2021, and attendance will be strictly by invitation to manage numbers; the Zim-Diplomats Forum is scheduled for 23 September, 2021 and hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. The function aims at engaging locally-based foreign diplomats on the ongoing measures by Government to facilitate investment; and 24 September, 2021 will be a Public day and no children will be allowed entry,” said Hon. Mutsvangwa.

A further relaxation of regulations on church and sporting activities has also been announced.

“Cabinet discussed the request by churches for a review of number of congregants allowed in church services to at least a third, taking into account the size of the church. Whilst all other gatherings shall not exceed 100 persons, with regards to churches, Cabinet has resolved that only vaccinated congregants can attend and should be limited to 50% of the holding capacity of the Church.

“Cabinet would like to appreciate the open communication that exists between Government and all stakeholders across the socio-economic stratum of Zimbabwe, and would like to assure the nation that any member or group of persons may make representations to the Cabinet Inter-Ministerial Taskforce on COVID-19 on any related matters, but may not be members of the same.”

A Government to Government deal has been entered into between Zimbabwe and Turkey in the area of transport systems development.

“Cabinet received and approved the memorandum of understanding between the Republic of Zimbabwe and the Republic of Turkey on Joint Venture in Transport which was presented by the Attorney-General.

“The agreement seeks to strengthen bilateral agreements on National Railways of Zimbabwe. The benefits of the MOU include recapitalisation of NRZ, modernization of the rail and aviation infrastructure among others. This blends very well with the drive for international engagement and the mantra that indeed Zimbabwe is open for business,” Hon. Mutsvangwa announced.

Local Government and Public Works Minister Honorable July Moyo also presented the Mid- Century Low Greenhouse Gas Emission Development Strategy 2020 to 2050 detailing how Zimbabwe seeks to stabilise greenhouse gas emissions in line with its obligations as a member of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

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