We Cant Ban Bronco, Our Hands Are Tied- MCAZ

THE Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe (MCAZ) Director General, Ms Gugu Mahlangu says her organisation does not have punitive powers to block the importation of illicit drugs onto the Zimbabwean market, HealthTimes has learnt.

By Michael Gwarisa

Briefing a Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Health and Childcare, Ms Mahlangu said inasmuch as the situation of drug abuse has become a cause for concern globally, their hands were tied as an organisation.

“We are aware of the drugs on the streets but we cannot go there because it is not our mandate, but we do at times go on blitz with the police educating the public on the dangers of taking such drugs.

“We can only work with the police to try and stop this. I think you have seen the global phenomenon of youngsters where they are taking drugs. It is now a big issue everywhere and in Zimbabwe at the moment we can only educate the young people about it,” said Manhlangu.

Zimbabwe is currently grappling with a drug abuse burden among youths amidst indications that some are taking to drugs as early as 11 years.

Ms Mahlangu however professed ignorance to allegations of reputable pharmacies importing the illicit drugs.

“It is actually the first time I am hearing that legitimate pharmacies might be responsible for importing illicit drugs and selling them on the streets or through the backdoor.

“I think it’s mostly entrepreneurs doing it,” she said.

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe currently does not have a drug and alcohol policy in place a situation which is making it difficult for authorities to regulate and manage the growing burden.

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