By Joyce Namutebi
Most students in secondary schools on Hoima, Masaka and Entebbe roads are actively involved in the consumption of drugs, MPs have been told.
Appearing before the defence and internal affairs committee of Parliament yesterday, the chief executive officer of Uganda Youth Development Link (UYDEL), Rogers Kasirye, said there is a high rate of drug abuse among children in and out of school in Uganda.
Without naming the schools for legal purposes, he said the most affected group is in the urban secondary schools. Kasirye said some of the schools where students are involved in drug abuse are located on Hoima, Masaka and Entebbe roads.
He named Wakiso, Mpigi and Busia as some of the areas where cannabis is procured by a student racket.
Kasirye noted that young people are now switching to using heroin from marijuana which they have been taking.
He was presenting a petition calling for speedy enactment of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (control) Bill to the MPs.
Kasirye said many young people in the country are having had drug abuse-related problems.
He blamed burning of schools, nude dancing and prostitution on drug abuse and proposed that child offenders be taken for rehabilitation, counselling and treatment rather than incarceration. Kasirye said many young people end up in prison and become hard core criminals.
The committee chairman, Milton Muwuma, said they would seek permission to move a private members’ Bill if the minister does not retable the Bill in Parliament on Tuesday.
The MPs asked Kasirye to give them more details to enable the committee come up with good proposals in the House.