By Tafadzwa Chigandiwa
President Emmerson Mnangagwa has vowed to curb substance abuse which is now rampant in the country.
Mnangagwa was speaking at Roman Catholic cleric, Father Emmanuel Ribeiro at the National Heroes Acre, Monday.
Ribeiro died aged 86 last Thursday at St Annes hospital in Harare.
He was declared a national hero becoming the first clergyman to be conferred with the status.
In his speech, Mnangagwa also urged citizens to avoid abusing drugs at all costs adding that government will effortlessly work hard to ensure that the problem is curbed.
“I condemn this new phenomenon of drugs and other harmful substances abuse.
“My government will continue to take stern measures to stop this growing threat and all drug related crime will not be tolerated under this government,” he said.
A number of youths have become slaves of illicit substances which affect them psychologically.
Codeine, cough syrup broncleer ‘ngoma’, psychotropic pills ‘madembare’ and crystal meth ‘mutoriro’ are some of the drugs commonly abused in the country.
Last month, during a parliament sitting, MDC-T Matebeleland South Legislator, Sipho Mokone questioned the government’s policy in curbing drug abuse in local communities.
“My question is directed to the Minister of Home Affairs. I would like to know what is the government policy on eradicating massive drug abuse and establishment of drug lord syndicates across the country who are causing serious social instability and also killing the future of children,” she said.
Executive Director for Youth against Alcoholism and Drug Dependency (YADD), Tungamirai Zimonte blamed the spike in drug abuse cases on the social and economic situation in Zimbabwe.
This has been worsened by the Covid-19 pandemic which has induced depression and trauma within the affected communities.
“There hasn’t been much research on the prevalence of drug abuse but according to police reports, media and affected communities we can safely say the abuse has increased and it has also been exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic due to the socio-economic situation where Zimbabwe is experiencing an increase in cases of trauma, depression and stress,” he said.