Gvt avail $500million for drug abuse fight

As part of the Second Republic’s attempts to expedite high-impact operations in the battle against the drug problem, the government has made $500 million available under the drug and substance addiction mitigation fund.

This was revealed by President Mnangagwa while officiating at the inaugural Development Conference towards a drug-free nation for the attainment of Vision 2030 at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) Exhibition Centre in Bulawayo yesterday.

“It is my expectation that the $500 million availed by my Government under the drug and substance abuse mitigation fund will accelerate high-impact activities and result in this fight to end drug abuse.

These activities should reach every corner of Zimbabwe, no one or no place should be left behind,” said President Mnangagwa.

“The need to mitigate the harm associated with substance abuse as well as negative health and psycho-social fects through the provision of holistic treatment services for affected individuals and families remains critical.

”On its part, President Mnangagwa said the Government is rolling out outpatient psycho-social support centres designed to provide screening and counselling services and awareness and prevention services to people affected by drugs, including their families.

“These services are set to ensure the successful reintegration of former drug users back into society. As parents and caregivers, we have a huge role to play in educating our children and the youth to babstain from drug and substance abuse,” he said.

Drug abuse in Zimbabwe has worsened because there are no rehabilitation centres and addicts are likely to relapse even after treatment at Ingutsheni Central Hospital in Bulawayo.

The drug and substance abuse menace has since been elevated to a National Committee which involves other stakeholders, as the Government seeks to deal with the scourge decisively.

President Mnangagwa has set up an inter-ministerial task force on drug and substance abuse as part of his administration’s efforts to end the scourge which remains a great threat to the attainment of Vision 2030.

The task force is chaired by the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare and deputised by the Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation.

The task force technical officers are continuously being trained on curbing drug and substance abuse by the Government with support from the World Health Organisation.Zimbabwe is also working towards a drug-free society through a drug master plan, which will help the country achieve Vision 2030.

The master plan aims at dealing with drug and substance abuse in society.President Mnangagwa said the foundation of a caring society lies in strong families and vibrant communities as primary socialisation begins at these levels.

“I, thus, urge communities to readily accept and support affected individuals to help end the abuse of drugs and substances. Meanwhile, reducing the demand for drugs and substances through promoting sports and healthy lifestyles must be encouraged,” he said.

The President challenged the private sector to partner Government and local authorities in both rural and urban areas in providing requisite infrastructure and facilities for promoting healthy lifestyles, especially among the youth.

“Containing the drug and substance abuse menace is critical in our quest to realise our national Vision 2030, of a prosperous, upper middle income society where young people have a stake in all socio-economic and political spheres,” he said.

President Mnangagwa said the Second Republic continues to implement a raft of measures to enhance youth participation in decision-making and their advancement across all sectors of the economy, including within the legislature.

“Similarly, the last two years have seen Zimbabwe recording the fastest GDP growth in our region and notable economic growth milestones across all sectors.

This momentum must be sustained by you, our young people, through the accelerated modernisation, industrialisation and development of our country,” he said.

The President said instead of wasting their energies on drugs, youth must use their ideas and energies to explore productive opportunities in agriculture, manufacturing, mining, tourism, creative cultural industries, information communication technologies (ICT), and digital connectivity to promote their economic well-being.

“Furthermore, I challenge you the youth to effectively deploy the high literacy rate level our country is renowned for, as well as the youth demographic dividend, entrepreneurial spirit, and tech-savvy abilities to unleash your potential, for the good of our motherland, Zimbabwe,” he said.

Riding on the country’s knowledge-driven economic agenda coupled with the ease of doing business environment prevailing under the Second Republic, President Mnangagwa challenged youth to establish sustainable, profitable, and professional business entities.

“You, our talented young people should take advantage of innovation hubs and industrial parks at our institutions of higher learning to innovate and create viable start-ups to produce all goods and services used by our people,” he said.

“Taking mutoriro neku-sticker will not accelerate our quest to realise Vision 2030. In your economic endeavours, you must think and act with the future of our country in mind.

”With the country celebrating the 43rd independence commemorations next Tuesday, President Mnangagwa implored young people to also play their part in developing the country and protecting it.

“This was the attitude and spirit which saw many sons and daughters of Zimbabwe, young boys, and girls, go out to fight a 15-year protracted liberation struggle that brought about the independence and freedom, which we will be celebrating this coming week,” he said.

“As young people of today, you must play your part by protecting and developing this beautiful country, bequeathed to us by our yester-year heroes and heroines.” – The Herald

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