The Drug Enforcement Commission marked a significant milestone in its border operational capabilities with the official launch of operational boats in Siavonga and the recommissioning the K-9 Unit in Chirundu.
Speaking at the event, DEC Director-General Nason Banda emphasized the importance of the boats in patrolling Zambia’s lakes and rivers, which are often exploited by organized criminal networks for drug trafficking and related crimes.
He said the Zambian government recognized the vulnerabilities in border security and procured three boats from the People’s Republic of China through Poly Technologies Limited to help patrol Lake Kariba, the Zambezi River in Western Province, and the Northern Circuit water bodies, including Lakes Tanganyika, Mweru, and Bangweulu.
He further highlighted the government’s commitment to addressing the nation’s drug problem, noting the devastating impact of illicit drug and substance abuse, particularly on the youth. Mr Banda urged various stakeholders, including law enforcement agencies, government departments, faith-based organizations, and civil society, to collaborate in creating safer communities. “The inter-agency cooperation to effectively combat organized crime and drug trafficking across national boundaries can only be supplemented by community involvement because this is a community problem which requires community-centred solutions.” He said
In a separate event at the Chirundu One Stop Border Post, Mr. Nason Banda inaugurated the reopening of the DEC K-9 Unit, where he outlined the unit’s history, its growth since 1990, and its crucial role in detecting and seizing illicit substances.
The Chirundu K-9 Unit, the third of its kind in Zambia, was temporarily closed for maintenance but has now been reinstated after rehabilitation.
“I commend the canine teams for their exceptional achievements, including detecting illicit money, firearms, and precious metals in recent operations. The vital role of the K-9 Unit in comprehensive border security cannot be over-emphasized. I urge all stakeholders, both state and non-state actors, to join forces in combating the nation’s drug problem.” Said Mr Banda