'LIVES ENDANGERED'

Murang'a MCAs draft law to fight drug abuse

Parents, teachers, administrators and security officers in the drugs war with punitive actions for failure to execute them.

In Summary

• The MCAs said peddlers are now targeting children and students and have to be stopped to save their futures.

• The assembly is in the process of drafting a law that ensure all stakeholders play a role in the fight and punitive action taken against those who don't.

Murang'a speaker Nduati Kariuki addressing the media in the assembly on Wednesday.
Murang'a speaker Nduati Kariuki addressing the media in the assembly on Wednesday.
Image: ALICE WAITHERA

The Murang’a county assembly is drafting a law to help fight rising cases of drug abuse in the county.

The law will target suppliers, peddlers, transporters, processors and consumers of drugs.

It will also give roles to parents, teachers, administrators and security officers in the drugs war with punitive actions for those who fail to execute their mandate.

 
 
 

The campaign will be led by the assembly speaker and the office of the governor.

Speaker Nduati Kariuki said the drugs have become readily available in the county, endangering the lives of young people.

Nduati said the assembly will organise a local leaders’ meeting in a month to brainstorm on how the campaign will be steered.

Afterwards, public participation meetings will be held in all parts of the county to give locals a chance to air their views on the bill.

Earlier, MCAs said drug abuse in the county had resulted in an upsurge of crime including sexual offences, and suicides.

The MCAs said they want the county government to initiate a mentorship programme to sensitise youths on the dangers of abusing drugs.

Bhang and alcohol are the commonest drugs in the county, according to the MCAs.

 
 

They urged the county government to revive a free rehabilitation programme that benefitted over 1,000 addicts in 2015.

Kamande said a county government survey indicated that one in six youths has been introduced to drugs.  Over 6,000 teenage pregnancies last were year attributed to the menace.

Kinyona MCA Ruoho Wangechi said fighting the drugs menace will require the co-operation of all.

“Drug abuse is a ticking time-bomb. It is time we ensure we stop new addictions and concentrate on treating those already hooked,” he said.

Nominated MCA Stephen Chege said the county government will need to mark the points of entry of the drugs into the county. 

Chege said the executive should work with the security team to ensure peddlers are nabbed before drugs reach consumers.

Chege took a swipe at Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko who recently proposed the legalisation of bhang saying such utterances may encourage more youths to engage in drugs.

Kiru MCA Morris Thuku said suppliers keep mutating the modes of supplying the drugs and that the county will have to keep up or lose the fight.

Thuku said bhang is being sold in forms of cookies and other foodstuffs that are sold to unsuspecting youths.

Cough syrups and pain killers are also being used to supply drugs, especially to students.

“Weeks ago, we had a bhang party in Kenol town. We need to go out there and talk to youths and their parents,” he said.

Thuku also highlighted the need to control muguka dens that are being used as a smokescreen for other crimes.

Kimorori MCA Amos Murigi said security officers who are often blamed for failing to control the menace should be properly facilitated.

“We have enough laws, the problem has always been their enforcement,” Murigi said.

(edited by O. Owino)