COMMENT: Women’s involvement  in crime  worries police Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi

WOMEN must not allow themselves to be used as distributors by notorious drug peddlers as they risk arrest and prosecution. 

They have been targeted as distributors by drug peddlers as it is not easy to suspect that they are part of the illicit trade that is mostly associated with men.

To avoid detection, the drug peddlers have not only targeted women but also illegal car washers dotted around the city of Bulawayo and other cities. 

Speaking on the arrest of 28 drug dealers this week, national police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said the latest batch has since been convicted in court and sentenced to fines and or jail terms.

Their names will also be added to an updated list of convicted drug peddlers that was shared on December 12 and 19 last year and January 22 this year.

He said the most prominent drugs seized in recent arrests are crystal meth, mbanje and a new drug called masca.

TWO drug dealers were arrested in possession of 9 grams of crystal meth with a street value of $500 000.

Methamphetamine/ Crystal Meth

Asst Comm Nyathi said the police are now worried about the high rates of women involvement in criminal activity, 13 out of the last 40 arrests, especially in drug peddling.

“It is worrying to note that women are actively involved in such criminal activity. Women are known to be responsible and the nurturers of family bonds, but instead there are some female elements that are bent on destroying that culture,” he said. 

“It is indeed a great shame to note that they too are part of this list and are serving custodial sentences, instead of raising and caring for their families,” said Asst Comm Nyathi.

He said he believed that women’s involvement in the drug trade may be attributed to lack of choice or coercion from men.

“In these male-dominated environments women are often sexually abused, exploited and face rampant threats and victimisation from drug lords, which at times leaves them with no option but to comply,” said Asst Comm Nyathi.

Women who are forced to be part of the drug trade must report the culprits to the police.

They can also engage community, traditional or religious leaders who can assist them in making the reports.

The police also have community relations department and the victim friendly unit that the women, or anyone                                                         forced into the drug trade, can approach for assistance.

The war on drugs is real and it is everyone’s role to fight the scourge of drug and substance abuse.

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