Dear Editor, Kindly allow me space to express my disappointment with the lack of direction that the Drug Enforcement Commission ( DEC) has recently exhibited. It is clear that DEC has lost its value and relevance among the security agencies hence duplicating duties for other law enforcement agencies and bringing confusion.
The DEC apparent loss of direction and focus cannot go unchallenged as it is shocking to see the Commission today involving itself in nearly all Police work. The Country now has a Drug Enforcement Commission which is involved in the fight against corruption, for instance, the Corruption case at the Ministry of Local government which should perfectly and lawfully be handled by the Anti-Corruption Commission.
DEC is further involved in arresting people printing NRC’s and Driver’s licenses overstepping its jurisdiction and mandate as the cited cases fall under the jurisdiction of the Road Transport and Safety Agency and National Registration Department. Where does the abusiveness of the DEC leave institutions such as ACC, Police, RTSA and National Registration?
The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substance Act Cap 96 of the Laws of Zambia together with the Prohibition and Prevention of Money Laundering Act No. 14 OF THE 2010 gives DEC specific roles and functions for which they have lost footing and direction, hence fast becoming Jack of all trades and exhibiting dangerous levels of lack of focus.
Since DEC is now duplicating the work of Police, ACC, RTSA, National Registration and other law enforcement agencies to retain its lost value, thereby causing tension with these statutory bodies, it would be prudent for the Commission to be taken back to Police where it originated from. It should be a department under Police as well as have its money laundering functions delegated to anti fraud department, ACC and the newly established Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) at the Bank of Zambia as the mentioned law enforcement agencies are well equipped and have highly trained personnel who have shown character and integrity.
This move will reduce the confusion and tensions created by DEC among the professional law enforcement agencies as well as save the country a minimum of K6 million rebased annually.