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Ministry launches National Anti-Drug campaign

21 Apr 2024

The Ministry of Defense and Justice has, through its recently established department, Drug Enforcement Agency, launched a national anti-drug campaign in a significant step towards combating the pervasive issues of drug abuse. 

Launching the national anti-drug campaign in Maun recently, Minister of Defense and Justice, Mr Kagiso Mmusi highlighted the urgent need for collective action to combat the detrimental effects of drug abuse on individuals, families and communities. 

Minister Mmusi said the anti-drug campaign was one of the efforts being made to minimise the harm to the people, especially the youth who were recorded to be the highest in numbers in terms of drug abuse by Botswana Police Service (BPS). 

“Our government is highly committed in protecting her people from the ravaging drug scourge and by committing to arm itself against the raging war of illicit drug trafficking and use, Botswana continues to put in place robust legislative and policy measures in an effort to combat this rage,” he said. 

For his part, Kgosi Oleo Ledimo lamented how drugs continued to separate families and claiming people’s lives and therefore highlighted the need to work collaboratively in fighting for freedom from drugs and substance abuse. 

“Drugs do not affect those who use them only but it turns out that their families are also affected, they bring domestic violence in our midst and also bring about theft and all these other social ills and that is why we need to end it now,” he said. 

Meanwhile, through a combination of education, enforcement, and treatment initiatives, the Drug Enforcement Agency aimed to empower citizens with the tools and resources needed to combat the detrimental effects of drug abuse. 

As part of the campaign launch, two individuals shared their inspiring testimonies of overcoming addiction and turning their lives around. 

Mr Boyson Mokone, a former drug addict, recounted his 20-year journey from the depths of substance abuse to sobriety and recovery.  “I hit rock bottom. I was a very bright student at school and a talented rapper but after I started using ecstasy all of that disappeared in the blink of an eye to the extent that I did not complete my Form 5 examinations having written only three examination papers. 

At the age of 19 I was an inmate but I found the strength to seek help and start a new chapter in my life and so it is possible to start afresh and to let go of any drug with the right support and love rom family members and society at large,” he said. 

Similarly, Mr Kgosi Morapedi, another recovered addict, shared his story of resilience and transformation. 

He said that after being influenced by his friends to try out Marijuana for the sake of fame and swag, he saw his mates excelling in their academic life whilst he performed poorly but had since learnt to control his curiosity and was now at Maun Technical College working on his future. 

“I never thought I could break free from the cycle of addiction, but through the guidance and assistance of family members I was able to reclaim my life and rebuild my future. Therefore I say to you all learn to say no to peer pressure, have a stand and a backbone because at the end of the day it is your future alone,” he said. Member of Parliament for Maun East, Mr Goretetse Kekgonegile emphasised that through collaborative efforts and community engagement, Botswana can and would combat substance abuse. 

Mr Kekgonegile also advised government to rethink its decision on corporal punishment in schools, saying that had been the medicine to achieving disciplined learners in the olden days and can still get the youth in the right path if recalled. Ends

Source : BOPA

Author : Gaolethoo Kgatitswe

Location : Maun

Event : Launch

Date : 21 Apr 2024