26 December 2012

Zambia: Central Province Tops in Drug Trafficking Cases

THE Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) has ranked Central Province as the leading province in Zambia in drug trafficking.

From January this year to date, 358 people have been arrested for drug related offences while seven tonnes of cannabis had been seized in the province.

DEC Commissioner Alita Mbahwe said this in Kabwe when she closed a two-day sensitisation workshop for chiefs in Central Province, whose theme was 'one chief, five Industries'.

"It is sad that our recent reports indicate that Central Province is leading and is the highest in the country in terms of drug trafficking and we need to find a lasting solution," she said.

Ms Mbahwe explained that the amounts of cannabis seized in the Central Province, accounted for 58 per cent of cannabis seed confiscated country-wide.

She said the commission was concerned with the continued trend by parents and barons to use children as illicit drug couriers.

Ms Mbahwe cited the recent arrest of a 14-year-old girl in Serenje District who was left with more than 50 kilogrammes of cannabis for selling by her parents as one of the such many cases.

Kapiri-Mposhi was leading in cannabis trade and Mumbwa was leading in marijuana cultivation.

Ms Mbahwe appealed to chiefs to assist the commission sensitise subjects against drug related issues adding that advice from tradition leaders was respected.

She said the fight against illicit drugs would be meaningless without the support from traditional leaders.

Meanwhile, Ms Mbhawe said 16 Zambian women have been arrested in foreign countries for trafficking in drugs.

The latest case involved four women who had been slapped with a 16-year-jail sentence in Mozambique.

DEC head of Anti-money Laundering Unit, Mary Chirwa, urged the traditional leaders to sensitise their subjects on money laundering and drug trafficking activities.

Meanwhile, the DEC has arrested a couple of Dunda Township in Lundazi District for drug trafficking, JULIUS PHIRI reports.

DEC spokesperson Samuel Silomba confirmed the arrest in Chipata yesterday of Tiwezi Zimba 33, and his wife, Jane Mkandawire 20.

Zimba who is from Wadilika Village in Chief Kapichila's area together with his wife Jane, a marketeer were found in possession of 70 balls of Cannabis weighing 609 grammes.

DEC has also arrested Ephraim Nyirenda 24, a customer of the same township after he was found in possession of two balls of cannabis weighing 17 grams.

Mr Silomba said that the trio had been remanded in custody and would appear in court soon.

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