ARMS DOWN: DEC GIVES UP ON UNZA, NO MORE COURTS
The Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) has given up its illegal drugs fight at the University of Zambia (UNZA). The newly appointed commissioner has since directed that no students should be arrested.
In a seemingly more politically engineered decision, the new DEC commissioner Musonda Simwayi has directed his officers not to drag any student to court any more.
This move has frustrated employees at the law enforcement department of government that was established by first republican President Dr Kenneth Kaunda in 1989 as an international and regional commitment to illegal fighting drug crimes.
The new Commissioner is surprisingly underplaying the efforts put in place by the previous regimes by encouraging that the DEC be an Institution that is going to propagate Education and counselling. He is forgetting that what motivates drug trafficking is money gained from the proceeds.
Since 1989, the DEC has fought illegal drugs trafficking and consumption tooth and nail. It established links with other international organizations such as Interpol, DEA and other local organizations.
UNZA has been identified as one of the Institutions being used by drug traffickers. Many drug traffickers are currently pretending to be students at UNZA when actually not. They apparently only use UNZA as a trade centre. The Unza management and even DEC are aware of this social development where rooms are even leased out to outsiders and not students.
According to the new directive by the new commissioner, any students found with or linked to drugs at UNZA will instead be put on educational or counseling lesson and let free.
The education section has always been there at DEC and but it’s the first that an entire “drug Hot” institution like UNZA could be placed under special treatment. Definitely a wrong move.
“The new boss doesn’t want ant case to be taken to court involving UNZA. It’s a big issue and DEC has just lost this battle,” the source said.
The chances are high now that UNZA will officially become the hub of drug trafficking in Zambia if the head of state does not intervene.
Apparently, UNZA management had a lot of confidence in the DEC but the confidence levels have since died. According to anti drugs specialist, it is currently even better to engage the Zambia Police even when the matter involves drug trafficking,
”The DEC is only interested in obtaining money from suspects and later release them and most of those they release simply purport to be Unza students”. The expert source said.
The approach taken by Commissioner Musonda Simwayi is not popular as history has vindicated that counseling has failed especially on people who area aware of the money realized from drugs.
Until his appointment, Dr Simwayi was an employee of the Bank of Zambia specialized in money laundering. His knowledge and experience in drug trafficking isn’t practical and was limited. Practically, he can thus be said to be in attachment at DEC.
The DEC was once a vibrant law enforcement agency that won the accolades of regional and international agencies. UNZA is also a political command centre especially for the ruling party, the Patriotic Front (PF).