Tapiwa Kapurura: Why is Zimbabwe Government soft on Drug Houses?
The government inertia to openly condemn the hard drug issue or take direct action against known or reported drug houses in Harare remains upsetting and deplorable. The chief government spokesperson, Nick Mangwana has openly kept quiet over the issue. That’s a chilling and concerning stance. We have not seen or heard of any press conference or open declaration of war by the government against drug lords.
We have challenged the police to trace the dots and the food chain on drugs. We have implored them to nab the drug lords and drug queens in the city. A dozen tips have been provided on names and places where drugs are openly sold.
The Police is now fully aware of such dark places. They have refused to go and attend to those leads. Instead, they have launched some random roadblocks as they exercise search and seizure mechanisms to catch some drug peddlers.
A few have been caught so far but there are no links to the suppliers. To me, this is a simple public relations stance to convince the public that the government has woken up now.
My questions are: Why are the police not going after the provided leads and tips? Why is it now such a big deal for police to raid publicly known or reported drug houses? Who is bringing drugs into Zimbabwe? How are these drugs by-passing customs and border authorities?
I will reiterate once again here for the benefit of everyone that hard drugs are not only a public health issue; they are also a national security issue. Once our youth are impacted, that means the social and education system has been debased.
Even elections and skill building mechanisms will not be a point of focus. Once these hard drugs get into the food of our uniformed forces, that could be a huge national security concern.
I am sure there could be gross abuse of the office and potential violence. That could be the wakeup call for the government leaders.
For now, the drug problem is not considered urgent in Zimbabwe. We have not seen big wigs openly condemn drugs. It’s a business-as-usual stance as drugs continue to rain in Harare. Those with voices to speak have turned their backs on the impacted and grieving masses.
It would be forgiven to conclude that they could be linked to the suppliers or that they have a hand in the profits coming through the illicit dealing.
There is so much to be done and the government is not doing enough. There is no urgency and no practical plan. There are no billboards to expose the issue. There are no media alerts on the problem. The police are just doing roadblocks when they know where the problem is coming from.
That makes the police conduct a mere public relations stance to pretend to the public that something is being done when in fact they drive past known drug houses on their way to mount roadblocks. By the end of the day, the front runners of the drug deals are the ones facing the police.
It is a broken system that is corrupt and gauzy. The front runners get caught as the big wigs keep going.
We need to see real action and we need some promise and assurance that our government leaders care, are concerned, aware and alive. We need to know the practical efforts and the plan that they have to combat the issue at hand. We need to see the timelines and their strategy on such a public menace.
We demand accountability as well as a plausible explanation of why they are ignoring publicly known drug houses in Harare. We may also need to understand why the government is pulling a rag under the feet of the nation to enable such irresponsibility and damage to continue in Zimbabwe.
The citizens are frustrated because of the designed blindfolds by the government. Not much has been done. Road blocks are just a PR stance. The drug houses have continued to operate.
The police are aware but are afraid to go after reported drug houses. Who owns such drug houses? Why are the drug house owners not arrested? Why are they immune from arrests and prosecution?
To the Minister of Justice, Minister of Health, and the Attorney General, I will openly state that you have failed in your duties as guardians of the system. You are not protecting your citizens. Your silence on this menace is amazing and deleterious to the public health cause in Zimbabwe.
Something needs to be done urgently. Let us start with Drug Houses and known drug lords. At least we can start having real conversations.
Without those, you may as well come out clear and bless the drug lords and drug queens of Zimbabwe as system-enabled because the velvet glove treatment they are experiencing is a red flag on government leader conduct and accountability.
Tapiwa Kapurura writes in a personal capacity.