Police push for mandatory jail term for drug offenders

Source: The Herald – Breaking news.

Police push for mandatory jail term for drug offenders
 Outlining what the Government was doing, Minister Kazembe said in a bid to curb the drug and substance abuse scourge, Zimbabwe has established National Elimination Committee on Drug and Substance Abuse (NECDSA), mandated to come up with systematic and sustainable responses that will assist in ensuring that society was free of drug and substance abuse. 

Zvamaida Murwira-Senior Reporter

Police are pushing for the amendment of the law to have a jail term imposed on all illegal drug and substance dealers without an option of a fine as part of deterrent measures to deal with the scourge in the country.

This comes as law enforcement agents have arrested 5 364 people from January to end of March this year, with 4 962, generally the users holding small quantities rather than the dealers, being released after paying deposit fines. 

Even when there is no proof of dealing, police take holders of larger stocks of drugs, suspected to be dealers, to court and refuse to let them pay the deposit fines that a user with a single dose can often get away with.

However, courts have at times been allowing some possessors of larger amounts of drugs to pay fines, although others have been jailed.

Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Kazembe Kazembe spoke of the police pressure, when answering questions in the National Assembly last week.

Glen View North MP, Mr Happymore Chidziva (CCC) had asked what the Government was doing to curb the widespread challenge of drug and substance use.

Minister Kazembe said they were in the process of having the law amended.

“This office recommends custodial sentences in all issues to do with drug and substance abuse as a deterrent to end the scourge. 

“However, our recommendations have been referred to the Attorney General’s Office, who has the duty to draft amendments to the existing laws. 

“Recommendations by this office for amendment of all the existing laws to deal with drug and substance abuse are being worked on by the policy and legal pillar to the National Elimination Committee on drug and substance abuse,” he said.

Outlining what the Government was doing, Minister Kazembe said in a bid to curb the drug and substance abuse scourge, Zimbabwe has established National Elimination Committee on Drug and Substance Abuse (NECDSA), mandated to come up with systematic and sustainable responses that will assist in ensuring that society was free of drug and substance abuse. 

“The National Elimination Committee on Drug and Substance Abuse aimed at soliciting involvement of all citizens to participate in eradicating the drug and substance abuse menace.

“Committees are at national, provincial, district and village levels. The committee comprises seven pillars of the drug and substance abuse management: demand reduction, supply reduction, harm treatment and rehabilitation, communication, psycho-social support and community reintegration, legal policing pillar, resources mobilisation pillar,” he said.

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