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Drug addiction rampant in major centres

SHARE   |   Sunday, 05 July 2015   |   By Phillimon Mmeso
Drug addict taking a puff Drug addict taking a puff

• Shocking statistics from schools, police
• Dagga, cocaine (crack cocaine also known as rock, letlapa,ledyana), cat (Meth-cathionone@katse) common
• Only eight police sniffer dogs in Botswana

The adage that still waters run deep could best describe Botswana’s two cities which have allegedly been turned into the country’s  illicit drug hubs. The most affected places within the two cities are the leafy suburbs which are normally viewed as crime free, peaceful and the best places to raise children.
According to a drug pusher interviewed by this publication, the opposite is the truth regarding the suburbs  as the most preferred places by the well-off people is where drugs are easily available just like the children’s favourite snack of ‘mabudula’ which is mostly found in the low income locations.
Sex pool parties are almost held every month within the high electrified security walls where young girls as young as 12 years old are invited and engage in unprotected sex under the influence of drugs. “Normally their drinks will be spiked with illicit drugs mostly ecstasy and from there they will be hooked and wouldn’t want to miss any of these parties,” said Senwebi, the drug dealer.
Surprisingly the parties are hosted by well-known business people or public figures, she said adding that some of the girls who attend are employees of the said public figures. “Most of them are interns and because they want high flying lifestyles they are easily convinced to attend these parties and some of them are now junkies,” she said shaking her head.
She mentioned one company which she said has engaged lot of interns and mostly beautiful girls who are normally promised permanent jobs only for them to be hooked into drugs. “I have talked to some of these girls and is difficult to convince them that they are destroying their lives and careers as they are enjoying the drug lime light,” she reveals.
Sometimes they can go and attend cocaine parties which are normally held in cattle ranches in Ghanzi or near Serowe belonging to some prominent people and is where one can be shocked who attends these parties, she said revealing names of some politicians whom she says are regulars. “In most the times I didn’t see what happening because I will be high on drugs and will be waking up in between two male strangers naked and will know that I have been raped,” said Senwebi with guilty looking eyes.
Last year she saw it all when she didn’t take any drugs because she was supplier and had to collect money from buyers when she realised what she had been going through from her fellow male drug junkies. These guys could gang rape a girl unashamedly and move to another one without using any condom and then I made a resolution that “that’s enough I am quitting.” If one of the girls gets pregnant especially school going one she will be taken to South Africa to do abortion since it is legal to do that in the neighbouring country.
According to the drug dealer most the girls who are being sexually abused are mostly from the leafy suburbs and their parents well off, “mostly are from the private schools both in Gaborone and Francistown.” One way of ensuring that she quits completely is to avoid her bosses whom she says are very dangerous and might kill her.
Botswana Youth Risk Behavioral Surveillance Survey, which was conducted in 145 schools from the Ministry of Education and Skills Development regions in 2012 has shown that young people got involved in the use of drugs from a young age; it indicated that from the sampled population of students, 14.9 per cent reported having used marijuana, 5.7 per cent used sextasy (sex and ecstasy) a cocktail of ecstasy and Viagra pills, followed by cocaine at 5.6 per cent and ecstasy at 3.7 per cent.
Deputy Officer Commanding Diamonds and Narcotics squad of the Botswana Police Service, Superintendent Miriam Kilano said that the drug trafficking is mostly found in both urban and major villages especially Gaborone and Francistown. According to Detective Kilano the most commonly found drugs in Botswana are dagga, cocaine (crack cocaine also known as rock, letlapa,ledyana), cat (Meth-cathionone@katse).“There is an emerging trend of heroin as 969. 1 gram of heroin was seized in the year 2014,” she said.
Three Batswana nationals were intercepted at Tlokweng border post in possession of cocaine and meth-cathione (CAT) hidden in their bodies,” said Kilano adding that thirty seven (37) moons of crack at street value of P99 900.00 and four balls of CAT at street value of P40 000.00 were seized. Ten Batswana nationals were arrested in the first quarter of this year in possession of 37 kilograms of dagga with a street value of P66 000.00, said the Diamonds and Narcotics squad commander.
Kilano revealed that all these drugs were destined to Botswana, most specifically Gaborone, Lobatse and Mahalapye and said that the victims are Batswana of all ages.She said that the police are always carrying out simultaneous patrols along the border with their counterparts and intelligence sharing on trafficking trends between law enforcement agencies.
“We also conduct intelligence led operations using sniffer dogs both in land and at border post,” said Kilano. She confirmed that they have shortage of sniffer dogs in the northern part of the country as only two are deployed there as compared to six in the Southern region.
The two sniffer dogs are currently based at Tonota and are expected to cover the whole Northern part of the country up to Kasane and Maun,  revealed Kilano adding that currently four dogs are undergoing training to augment the acute shortage. She raised concern that the impact of the illicit drugs is disastrous if unguarded, “the quality of these contraband may appear small but the damage and health implications they have are enormous.”

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