MDC statement on high increase in drug trafficking in Zimbabwe
The seizure by South African authorities, on December 6, of the largest haul of cocaine at Beitbridge border post ever demonstrates yet again the total failure by the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) to curb serious crime.
According to the South African Revenue Service (SARS), 80 kilogrammes of cocaine worth R23 million was seized by Customs agents while being smuggled into that country from Zimbabwe.
SARS said the supposedly empty truck carrying the drugs originated in Malawi, meaning it crossed two of our borders and travelled freely throughout the country before being netted in SA.
No-one can rule out the possibility that some of the drugs found their way onto Zimbabwean streets.
As the MDC, we are dismayed by the failure of the ZRP and Zimra to make use of the scanning technology available to them to expose the contraband before it even reached Zimbabwe.
The MDC is seriously concerned about the free movement and sale of hard drugs in the country. The advent of the multicurrency system in Zimbabwe in 2009 has attracted international drug dealers who have flooded the country with their evil merchandise.
We worry about people, especially the young, who are being exposed to these drugs and being turned into addicts. These are costly habits, whose impact is worsened by the fact that rehabilitation is unavailable or very expensive.
Marriages are breaking down and lives are being wrecked as some addicts turn to crime.
According to the U.S. government, Zimbabwe is being used significantly as a transit country for hard drugs. A report posted on the CIA World Fact book accuses senior government officials of involvement in drug and human trafficking.
As the MDC, we demand a Parliamentary investigation into these serious allegations. Not only are these nefarious activities damaging lives, they are also ruining our otherwise good relations with neighbouring countries and the whole international community.
The ZRP has no excuse whatsoever for failing in their duties when they spend so much time as political commissars, running errands for Zanu PF.
The MDC implores the ZRP to do its job and curb the drug menace. As it is, police officers spend a huge amount of time on the roads demanding bribes from motorists instead of searching for dangerous cargo.
This is totally unacceptable.
As the MDC, we demand an overhaul of the Police Act as a first step in ending the rot within the ZRP. The Police Act must be subjected to a comprehensive review and strengthened in its role as setting operating standards, procedures for discipline within the force and related matters.
Senator Lillian Timveos
MDC Home Affairs Shadow Minister