Declare drug abuse a national disaster: Temba Mliswa tells Govt

Norton legislator Temba Mliswa has urged government to declare drug abuse a national disaster and institute measures that can curb the problem.

Speaking in Parliament on Tuesday, Mliswa said the high unemployment rate in Zimbabwe was also the reason why young people are abusing drugs.

He added that his constituency, Norton, had become a hotspot and urged the government to declare drug abuse a national disaster.

“On a point of national importance Madam Speaker. There is excessive drug abuse across the country. It would be good for us to understand the measures the government is taking to curb that while there is unemployment and many other reasons that it has gotten to a level where it has become a way of life. My Constituency itself is a hotspot.

“Out of the three youths you come across, each of them is intoxicated and I am wondering what we should do. I am hoping that it must be declared a national disaster. It has to be declared a national disaster so that government comes up with measures of ensuring that there are rehabilitation centres and hospitals to start taking care of them to see how best they can get out of this situation.

Mliswa added: “I see a situation, if Government does not move up the ladder with what is going on, we have no nation to talk about, no generation to talk about and it is costly. It is expensive and when they are intoxicated, they can do anything.

“They are stealing and you cannot report your child for stealing. So crime rate increases and abuse as well with other parties and so forth. So Madam Speaker, it is important that it is declared a national disaster and the government comes up with measures to curb it, or else the situation as I have said, is totally out of hand. Thank you Madam Speaker.”

The Deputy Speaker of Parliament Tsitsi Gezi responded to Mliswa saying the responsible Minister should come with a ministerial statement on the issue.

“Thank you Hon. Mliswa. Your point of national interest is valid. Sure, the issue of drug abuse has become a pandemic.

“I think we can ask the responsible Minister to come to this House with a Ministerial Statement so that Hon. Members of Parliament can have chances to interrogate the Minister on how the Government is intending to deal with this issue of drug abuse.”

The issue dominated debate in both the National Assembly and Senate on Tuesday, with Norton MP Temba Mliswa (Independent) saying Zimbabwe was killing a whole generation by not addressing the economic crisis.

“There is excessive drug abuse across the country. It would be good for us to understand the measures government is taking to curb that while there is unemployment and many other reasons that it has gotten to a level where it has become a way of life,” he said.

Mliswa said his constituency, about 40km west of Harare, was one of the hardest hit by drug abuse.

“My constituency itself is a hotspot,” Mliswa said. “Out of three youths you come across, each of them is intoxicated and I am wondering what we should do. I am hoping that it must be declared a national disaster,” he added.

“It has to be declared a national disaster so that government comes up with measures of ensuring that there are rehabilitation centres and hospitals to start taking care of them to see how best they can get out of this situation.”

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