Empower the drugs body, MPs urge govt

Tuesday February 7 2017


By Athuman Mtulya @mtulya amtulya@tz.nationmedia.com

Dodoma. Members of Parliament yesterday weighed in on the ongoing anti-drug trade efforts and called for the strengthening of the Drug Control Commission (DCC) so as to make the campaign effective and sustainable.

The Parliamentary Aids Committee presented a report before the august House showing that the DCC was severely underfunded leaving it understaffed, without state of the art equipment nor the means to conduct operations to arrest drug barons.

Debating the report, MP Esther Bulaya (Bunda Urban-Chadema) who is also the shadow minister in the Prime Minister’s Office responsible with drug control, belittled Dar es Salaam Regional Commissioner Paul Makonda’s move calling it a ‘publicity stunt’ and that the latter was only targetting victims instead of the kingpins. “If we really want to help the President (John Magufuli) to win this war, then we must advise him to appoint DCC commissioner. Once we have the Commission up and running, only then can we successfully wage this fight,” she said.

“How can we win this war if the very organ that is required by law to be in the frontline is as crippled as the committee noted? Instead, the war is personalized and the likes of Makonda want to take an advantage over it by going after small fish and addicts,” she argued adding, “These addicts that Makonda is going after are just victims, they need our help. They need to be on methadone dose. The UN passed a resolution in 2006 that the war should target barons and not addicts. I should inform this House that I have a sibling who is currently in a rehab, so I know what I am talking about.”

Kigoma Urban MP Zitto Kabwe (ACT-Wazalendo) echoed Ms Bulaya’s sentiments adding the efforts would not be successful given the current state of DCC. “The Committee has highlighted a critical missing point in this fight, that the mandated organ to lead the campaign is crippled. It is underfunded, and it is only through it that we can wage this war all over the countrywide instead of only one region.”