A POLICE crackdown on drug peddlers and syndicates has so far netted 143 drug dealers with their bases being destroyed in raids that are being carried out in Harare and Chitungwiza.
This comes as The Herald last week revealed, after investigations, that some police officers could be offering protection to drug dealers whose illicit dealings have affected the country, particularly the youths.
So far police have raided areas like Mbare, Chitungwiza, Mabvuku, Epworth, Dzivarasekwa, Glen Norah, Mufakose, Southview and Highfield which are festooned with drug peddlers, who range from pushers to the suppliers, with links to international drug trafficking rings.
In raids that were carried over the weekend, police busted drug havens where they recovered drugs such as marijuana, ganja cakes and a prohibited cough syrup called BronCleer (bronco).
They also found the dealers selling illicit brews such as "musombodhiya" and illegal aphrodisiacs such as Oto and Blue Diamond pills as well as skin lightening creams such as Diproson.
Hard drugs such as cocaine and Crystal Methamphetamine commonly known as "mutoriro", "dombo" or "guka" were also found at the raided bases.
In an interview yesterday national police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said law enforcement agents are stepping up the fight against drugs in the country.
"The raids have so far netted 143 drug dealers from areas such as Chitungwiza, Epworth, Mabvuku and Mbare. Besides arresting the peddlers, we are also hunting for the kingpins. There is obviously a syndicate of local and foreign players in this chain," said Asst Comm Nyathi.
According to Asst Comm Nyathi, police recovered Crystal Methamphetamine and Ephedrine drugs from Privilege Munetsi, Oto Pills from Anastasia Murudzirwa (52), and Blue Diamond pills from Marjory Moyo.
One Portia Chekuenda was caught with 46 grams of crystal methamphetamine, while the house of Faith Sithole (40) in Mbare was also raided and 7 grams of Crystal Methamphetamine was discovered along with two, 8kgs of cocaine.
As of now, Asst Nyathi said, some of the cases are before the courts while more peddlers will be brought to face the full wrath of the law after thorough investigations.
"There is serious drug abuse in the country and this requires the involvement of all stakeholders in order to bring sanity in the country. The public should come forward with names of these people who are destroying the social and moral fabric of our society," he said.
When The Herald news crew visited Harare's New Mabvuku suburb residents close to one "drug base" known as 'GaBoss' that was raided on Saturday, bemoaned the moral decadence that has been spawned by drug peddlers leading some teenagers to drop out of school.
"They even recruit some of the children to do their dirty business so that they can remain in the shadows," said one parent who asked not to be named for fear of reprisals from the drug syndicates who have deep pockets.
Mr Toto Makomo (not his real name) said his 16-year-old boy is now mentally disturbed, something that forced him to drop out of school.
"Our lives are now in danger because of his violent nature. We are now forced to lock him inside the room to safeguard others from being attacked," he said.
In most suburbs, criminal dealers sell dangerous drugs to adults and children in broad day light, often not taking precautions to avoid notice, seemingly enjoying protection from some rogue cops.
Some of drug dealers now own buses and immovable properties from the dirty but lucrative business.
The CID Drugs and Narcotics section recently embarked on an operation to curb drug abuse code-named "No to drug and substance abuse" and a number of suspects were rounded up.
According to the police, the illicit drugs in circulation in the country are classified into the following categories: depressants, stimulants and hallucinogens, narcotics, skin lighteners, body enlargement products and sex enhancers.
Cocaine and mbanje are the drugs of choice in leafier suburbs, while in high density suburbs anything is fair game.
Police are running drug abuse awareness campaigns countrywide with a view to save the masses from the devastating effects of the dangerous substances.