POLICE in Bulawayo have launched a crackdown on drug peddlers and abusers as part of a national campaign to rid society of the vice that is destroying lives of mainly young people.
The operation includes police producing warrants to search homes of suspected drug dealers while canine units are deployed to sniff out the criminals. The country is battling an ever increasing drug problem as drug dealers destroy communities where they come from.
The drug problem has seen President Mnangagwa calling on churches to join the fight against the scourge. In 2021, Government launched the National Drug Policy to fight the scourge.
Drug dealers are operating within communities selling drugs which include imbanje, crystal meth, Broncleer and injengu.
Police in Bulawayo yesterday conducted a vehicle stop and search exercise at a roadblock along Luveve Road at the flyover to signal the start of the operation in the city.
While the cops did not arrest any drug peddler during the process, they managed to pick imbanje sachets which had been dropped from a vehicle near the roadblock.
Ahead of the start of the anti-drugs operation, last Friday police searched some homes in Entumbane and Emakhandeni suburbs and one person was arrested. In one house in Entumbane suburb four Benylin syrups stacked in a computer, five gig power capsules, one Goldgessi syrup, 30ml extra white skin lightening creams and eight gym steroids pills were recovered.
A suspect Shadreck Choruma (38) was arrested.
Bulawayo police spokesperson Inspector Abednico Ncube yesterday said police have instructed all their units to intensify the arrest of drug dealers.
He said time was up for anyone dealing or abusing drugs.
“We have launched a crackdown on those peddling drugs in the city. This campaign will also handle those who would be found using the drugs. It is an offence to peddle and use drugs. Those who will be found using drugs will have to lead the police to the homes or places where they get the drugs,” said Insp Ncube.
Insp Ncube said of concern is that some of youths were even taking unconventional drugs which shows the extent of the problem.
“Some people are bringing Broncleer from outside the country which they come and sell here. Some of the people who are dealing with drugs are even sniffing disposable diapers and most of them are of school going age groups. Other drugs being sold include crystal meth, mbanje, injengu substances that are very dangerous,” said Insp Ncube.
He said members of the public should utilise police suggestion boxes if they are not comfortable about physically reporting the cases.
“We are going to have search warrants targeting homes of suspected dealers, use dogs and conduct campaigns in schools to conscientise pupils on the dangers of drugs.
We will be working with other stakeholders in this. We also want communities to partner us in doing this. While we have made an arrest in Entumbane suburb, it is our conviction that almost all the suburbs have such people who are peddling drugs and we need to work together in removing the drug dealers from society,” he said.
Insp Ncube urged parents and guardians to monitor closely the behaviors of their children in case they might be abusing drugs.
He said they should report such cases urgently to the police.
He appealed to members of the public to support the police and Government in the fight against drugs by blowing the whistle on those supplying drugs in communities.
“We are inviting all stakeholders, members of the public and everyone at large to join hands with the police in the fight against drugs. In this instance, anyone who would be found smoking or being drunk due to drugs will be arrested and the objective will be to find the drug lord and the supplier,” said Insp Ncube.
Recently 17 youths from Entumbane suburb were rushed to Ingutsheni Central Hospital after overdosing on crystal methamphetamine (meth).
This led to residents in the suburb to conduct a series of awareness campaigns which has led to some suspects being arrested. @nqotshili/@ReeSibanda