WHEN the youthful but ‘no-nonsense’ Dar es Salaam Regional Commissioner (RC), Mr Paul Makonda, named 12 police officers suspected of involvement in the notorious narcotic drugs underworld, it marked a turning point in the decades-long war against the vice.
In sharp contrast to yesteryears when the vice was shrouded in deep secrecy and only discussed in hushed tones, which was exactly what the drug kingpins wanted, this time around the government has really decided to openly fight the vice. Narcotic drugs are right, left and centre bad.
They are a life’s wrecker. Worse still, it is the able-bodied youth, who this nation very much depends on for gainful employment and nation building whose lives are shattered as a result of taking drugs. There had before been threats, mainly cooked up by the drug lords and their henchmen, of reprisals against all those who will meddle with the illicit trade.
The criminals seemed to have won their day as the barons keep on getting richer and richer at the expense of the unfortunate youth who are reduced to vegetables and physical wrecks unable to fend for themselves.
It is at folly’s height that some people have been driving posh cars, have built mansions in the posh suburbs of major cities and have fat bank accounts abroad while the unfortunate youth who bought and took the drugs are mental wrecks.
To illustrate the seriousness of the offence, some countries like China, Malaysia, Singapore, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Vietnam have imposed the death penalty for drug traffickers.
Back home, we have seen or read from to time about incidences in which members of the police force and anti-narcotic drug unit have arrested at the country’s entry points, including major airports, people who have been arriving into the country carrying such drugs as heroin, cocaine and cannabis sativa.
The latest to be caught by the anti-drug dragnet are police officers, civilians and celebrities from the local music and film industry, lending credence to suspicion that there are many more outta there who are still at large.
We suspect that the number of people arrested is just a tip of the iceberg and more homework remains to be done to smash the entire network in the country. Let us go for them. Let us take the bull by the horn!