The Drug enforcement Commission has arrested over 160 people among them 12 juveniles from January to date on charges of drug trafficking and seized 6 tonnes of cannabis in Eastern Province.
Eastern Province Drug Enforcement Commission Regional Commander, Charles Ndulumina said drug trafficking, substance abuse and illegal cultivation of narcotic and psychotropic substances such as cannabis still remains a threat to the development of the economy.
ZANIS reports that Mr Ndulumina said this when he officiated at this year’s World Anti-Drug Day commemoration under the theme “ Addressing drug challenges in health and humanitarian crises” in Mambwe District.
Mr Ndulumina said the Commission is determined to put an end to drug trafficking and has thus declared Zero tolerance to any form of drug abuse, trafficking and cultivation.
He added that through its education and counseling department, the Commission has also reached out to 15,443 people with drug and money laundering awareness information and 37 people have so far been attended to under counseling.
Mr Ndulumina further reaffirmed the Commission’s resolve to continue engaging other stakeholders such as the Ministry of Education which has included Drug Preventive Education in the Curriculum and formation of anti – drug clubs in Schools, the Ministry of Health, Traditional Leaders and the Zambia Police among others.
And Mambwe District Commissioner, William Banda said drug abuse if left unchecked, will continue to be one of the lead factors in escalating crime rates destroying the lives of people.
Mr Banda added that drug abuse is a complex socio economic issue that requires an integrated approach in order to fight it.
“The fight against drug abuse affects all and must not be left to Law Enforcement Agencies only but rather, it requires all stakeholders to come on board and join in raising awareness on the dangers of drug abuse and treatment of addicts,” he said.
Mr Banda said it was also necessary to encourage individuals and families to seek early assistance for problems related to alcoholism and drug abuse.
Meanwhile, Charity Banda, a grade Twelve Pupil from Mambwe Boarding Secondary School urged the Drug Enforcement Commission to continue sensitizing on drugs and its effects.
Ms Banda added that youths especially, needed to take the message to “Say No To Drugs” seriously, think outside the box and figure out ways of making the message known to everyone.
The Drug Enforcement Commission has managed to sensitize pupils on drug abuse in schools in Mambwe district, among them Mambwe, Matula, Mfuwe Day, Jumbe Day, and Yosefe Secondary schools..