Police sweat over spike in drug abuse as petty dispute murders rise

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ESCALATING alcohol and drug abuse among Zimbabweans has inadvertently spiked fatal stabbings arising from petty disputes, Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) has said.

This comes as Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe (MCAZ) is on high alert, monitoring places where drug abuse is rampant, places which the authority terms “flash-points.”

The national medicines and healthcare products regulatory authority is also working with the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) and the police to intercept illegal drugs at the ports of entry.

Observers maintain the scourge will not be stemmed out if rampant unemployment remains unaddressed.

Police spokesperson Charity Charamba said law enforcement agents were concerned by the upsurge in the use of lethal weapons to commit murder cases in various parts of the country.

“An analysis of recorded murder cases has revealed that most of them are occurring at business centres where people engage in petty disputes which result in fatal stabbings. The disputes range from gambling conflicts, quarrels over girlfriends and infidelity, fighting over sitting space, debts owed to one another while in some instances some innocent people have lost their lives trying to restrain others from fighting,” Charamba said.

The police spokesperson said it was clear that the consumption of alcohol and other drugs is a major contributory factor in these altercations.

“The majority of the victims are male while nearly all the perpetrators are also male,” Charamba said.

Meanwhile, police urged members of the public to ensure that their residences are properly secured at night so that criminals do not have easy access.

“When dealing with criminals, members of the public must be alert and cautious as most will be armed and dangerous, especially at night,” Charamba said.

“A number of deaths occur during night time where people are murdered while coming from different places such as visits to friends, relatives or coming from work or beer drinks and their bodies subsequently discovered the following morning.”

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