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All thanks to the “Black Dog”

Publishing Date : 24 October, 2017

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Policing is about visibility, it is about being seen to be doing the actual work of policing, it is about enforcing the law! In our country habit forming drugs are illegal hence the police must act against the possession, distribution and sale of these drugs. We are aware of many speeches which have referred to drugs as one of the primary causes of social ills in the country.

According to reports the Botswana Police Services is embarked on a campaign to rid the capital city Gaborone and surrounding areas of drugs. This is a welcome campaign by the police because in the recent past we have heard teachers and education officials from Primary School level to Tertiary level complain about use of drugs by school children. We are currently faced with a serious challenge of deteriorating performance levels by students across board. One could throw in the assumption that drugs have a role to play in this challenge because of their habit forming nature.

We are confident that the Botswana Police Service strategy of hunting for the Runners who peddle drugs in our community could yield positive results. It is evident that the Police have a huge task of breaking a chain that has been oiled over a long period of time. It is important that the Police identified people who are along the chain, from the producers, the distributors and the buyers among others. It is a million Pula business if reports we received this week are anything to go by. We must nip this problem in the butt. Our society is crumbling because of drug use and abuse.

We learn that the production of marijuana, heroin, and cocaine/crack is increasing, especially cocaine/crack; cocaine traffickers, now finding their supply substantially exceeding current market demand in the Southern Africa region. Botswana has not escaped the crusade. Drug peddlers follow the scent, they want the scent of money and customers. Botswana provides such. The Botswana Police Service must act fast and decisively.

The increasing supply of illicit drugs relative to current demand contributes to additional violence as domestic gangs war over market turf, and the policy instruments designed so far to curtail the demand for, suppress the traffic in, and control the supply of illicit drugs have not produced satisfactory results. We hope that the latest raids by the Botswana Police Service will deliver a heavy and costly blow to drug peddlers. The law must take course and were guilt is proven beyond reasonable doubt the sentence must fit the crime.  

Illicit drug trafficking takes place in most countries of the world. Recognition of illegal importation and distribution, a criminal activity frequently involving foreigners, should be dealt with thoroughly. Drugs have destroyed many lives, Botswana cannot afford to allow drugs to kill the potential that is in today’s youth.

The involvement of outsiders makes smuggling or illicit dealing appear less of a home-based problem. Few countries are immune to drug abuse problems. In the latest reports the marijuana seized from trucks and users is said to be originating from countries such as Swaziland and Mozambique. It is important that our law enforcers deal with both local and foreign elements in this trade. Botswana must engage authorities in these countries to deal with the problem from source.

We learn that individuals acting alone do not usually move significant quantities of drugs, hence the focus on control of supply is normally on organized groups or cartels.

Interdiction and seizure of illicit drugs are the classic law enforcement control measures to reduce the supply of drugs. We also hear that methods of concealing drugs are constantly changed to avoid capture and seizure. Border controls are a major focus of interception efforts. However, with the increased flow of commercial traffic between countries and the free movement of goods in large regional trade blocks, the success rate of interdiction at national borders, low to begin with, may decrease further. Vigorous action by authorities in one area often leads to shifts in the pattern of illicit activity or to movement of the illegal activity to another area. Our law enforcement agencies must be away of these dynamics as they step up their war against drugs.

According to a UNDCP position paper for the World Summit for Social Development global increases in problems Of illicit drugs both reflect and contribute to international tensions. Botswana must deal with the drug problem thoroughly to avoid “catching the flue”.



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