The challenges faced by the Drug Enforcement Commission in discharging its mandate

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Muhwende, Ottiliah M
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The Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) is the institution charged with the mandate of reducing drug trafficking in Zambia. It was established in 1989 by the Dangerous Drugs (Forfeiture of Property) Act No.7 of 1989. The objectives of this study were to define the mandate of the Drug Enforcement Commission, to identify the challenges faced by DEC while discharging its mandate, to compare and contrast the Drug Enforcement Commission of Zambia with the Nigerian Drug Enforcement Commission (NDLEA) and to determine the role of other institutions working in collaboration with DEC. The study conducted both desk research and interviews. The findings reviewed that the mandate of the Drug Enforcement Commission is to reduce drug trafficking in Zambia. In discharging its mandate, the Commission partners with other institutions internationally, regionally and locally. The role of these institutions is to supply the Commission with information about dangerous drugs, the methods and ways in which cultivation and manufacturing of drugs can be reduced and lastly, to offer training to the DEC personnel during conferences and seminars. It was also reviewed by the study that the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency is more efficient and effective than DEC. Lastly, the study reviewed that the Commission is faced with challenges while discharging its mandate. These challenges include lack of autonomy, lack of adequate funding, unavailability of accommodation, lack of adequate and reliable transport, lack of body scanners and few sniffer dogs. In view of the findings and conclusions, the recommendations were that the government should provide adequate funding, reliable transport, body scanners and sniffer dogs as well as accommodation to the DEC officers. Furthermore, the structure of the Commission should be expanded and the Commission should be established as an independent body under the Constitution of Zambia.
Drug traffic - prevention , Narcotics, control of - Government