HomeOpinion & AnalysisDrug abuse, a generation under threat...but CCAD brings hope to the hopeless!

Drug abuse, a generation under threat…but CCAD brings hope to the hopeless!

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By Tendai Ruben Mbofana

Any nation on the face of this planet is founded on hope for a bright future — and, that bright future is premised on today’s youth, who are entrusted with the responsibility of carrying the country forward economically, politically, socially, and culturally.

When that generation spends most of its time high on drugs to the point of incapacitation, what hope can a nation have?

When its future presidents are always high on drugs — can a nation be hopeful? When future captains of industry and commerce are breaking into people’s homes to rob them (usually violently) of money, or goods to sell, to purchase drugs for a fix — are we to be optimistic? When our children drop out of school, as their drug addiction impedes their ability or even interest to learn — what shall we do?

Such is the hurting and worrying catastrophe that we find ourselves in as the nation of Zimbabwe.

Drug abuse and addiction have become arguably the biggest threat to the future of our beautiful country.

We are confronted by a scourge that, only a few years ago, was virtually unheard of. Zimbabwe was largely known as a transit point for hard drugs destined for other countries.

However, that has since changed, as these ruthless, uncaring, and cruel drug traffickers have found an easy market among our children.

They deceive them by the allure of false “joy, peace and comfort” derived from taking drugs, yet they will be turning them into junkies who end up being criminals in order to satisfy their insatiable appetite for drugs.

To makes matter worse, these drug traffickers have found ready pawns in local residents who are eager to make quick bucks regardless of the effects of drugs on society.

They are more than willing to sell drugs to gullible and impressionable youths in their neighbourhoods who later discover that the “cool” life they expected was nothing but a charade and a dungeon whose shackles cannot be broken easily.

But, who are these people who entice our children in whom we have so much hope, to drugs and end up being zombies without any desire to do anything worthwhile in life?

These life-destroying, and even lethal drugs include, mbanje (marijuana), crystal methamphetamine (also known as, mutoriro, dombo or guka), also as ganja cakes, BronCleer cough syrup (bronco), and illicit alcohol popularly called musombodhiya.

These are people we all know in our communities — from that innocent-looking street vendor (who appears to be strangely popular with most youths), commuter omnibus drivers/conductors/touts, to those odd people who are not gainfully employed anywhere, yet always manage to live lavishly.

How do they manage to get away with it if they are known in the neighbourhood?

Apparently, there are some among our usually hard-working and astute law enforcement agents, who unfortunately have turned rogue, and are either receiving bribes from the drug dealers as “protection fees”, or have turned into part-time peddlers themselves.

There have been numerous incidents in which these rogue cops alerted drug dealers when a raid was imminent — thereby providing them with ample time to evade justice.

Nonetheless, all is not lost, since there are more upright police officers among us than the dirty and corrupt ones. Alternatively, concerned members of the community can always report these rogue cops and their drug dealer accomplices to senior law enforcement agents.

The recent establishment of the Concerned Citizens Against Drugs (CCAD) — a community-based co-ordination and advocacy platform, whose goal is to end drug and substance abuse in Zimbabwe through non-confrontational advocacy has brought hope to an otherwise hopeless nation.

CCAD seeks to achieve these phenomenal goals by sensitising communities and policy-makers on the scourge of drug and substance abuse, while mobilising resources for constructive intervention, as well as creating and co-ordinating a national community platform in partnership with key stakeholders such as the government through the Health and Child Care ministry  and the Zimbabwe Civil Liberties on Drugs.

There are also stakeholders like Sisi Vee, and other responsible and caring members of the community, who are ready to put an end to this scourge and save the lives of numerous youths as well as restore hope in our nation by compiling a database of drug traffickers and dealers so that they can be reported to trustworthy law enforcement agents.

CCAD urged the Health and Finance ministries to significantly increase health funding to fight drug and substance abuse.

This will support the implementation of the Drug and Substance Abuse Treatment, Rehabilitation, and Road Map Policies.

This is a community epidemic that needs to be addressed non-confrontationally because mental health plays centre stage in behaviour modification.

  • Tendai Ruben Mbofana is a social justice activist, writer, author, and speaker. He writes in his personal capacity.

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