Residents want ZACC involvement in anti-drug campaign
Entumbane residents have raised concern at what they labelled the catch and release of suspected drug lords operating in the suburb and now want the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) to intervene.
Entumbane is one of the hotspot suburbs in the city when it comes to drug abuse and recently seventeen youths from the suburb were hospitalized last month due to drug abuse.
Police recently launched a nationwide crackdown against drug abuse dubbed, ‘No to dangerous drugs and illicit substances: see something, say something’ which has so far netted 2152 suspects, according to the latest police statistics.
Following a tipoff, the law enforcement agents recently raided two houses in the suburb and arrested three suspects, including a former police officer in connection with drug peddling.
However, some residents said tip-offs to the police have not paid off as the drug lords get released.
Speaking to CITE on condition of anonymity, the residents said drug abuse is worrying as both children and the elderly are now hooked.
“The drug lords are just so many, some of them are people we grew up with, some of them are our relatives, what is painful is that the police who come for these operations are the same officers who take bribes almost daily, we see them, we have proof but we don’t know how we can be assisted,” said a resident.
Another resident said the drug syndicates have ruined their community and raised concerns that some police officers are also part of the drug ring.
“So, we really don’t know what to do, it’s not a secret that there are drug lords in Entumbane, we even fear for our families while we are at work because they are not safe at all,” said the resident.
“We want the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) to intervene or bring police from Harare, they should change officers because it doesn’t make sense for the same police officers, we see collecting bribes every day be sent to raid the suspects, it doesn’t make sense at all.
“We see the police trying to act busy and making arrests but that won’t work because they are part of it, we have proof and we even know where the drugs are being kept and the team that is sent to arrest these drug lords is also aware of this information, so nothing will come out of that, we want assistance from higher offices.”
The residents said they have formed a community group to try to curb the scourge.
“As a community, we try to raise awareness on issues of drug abuse, recently churches met and did anti-drug campaigns, the community is really trying their best but we feel let down by the police who don’t want to work with us,” they said.
Bulawayo Police Spokesperson Inspector Abednico Ncube, however, said the police are working tirelessly to deal with the drug lords in the suburb and urged residents to bring forward any information.
“They should bring names, the people who are telling you this are not following what is happening in Entumbane, that is part of a community which does not cooperate with others, the rest of Entumbane knows that we have phased out the drug lords,” said Inspector Ncube.
He said residents should approach officers in charge and join other whistleblowers.
“If you ask that person, you will find that he/she has never given the police any people. We are up to date with the information that we are receiving and we have the results. Entumbane so far according to what is happening in Bulawayo is the highest in terms of reaction and arrest of drug Lords,” said the police spokesperson.