URGE PUBLIC TO JOIN

Lamu leaders pledge to back war on drugs

Propose state changes tack and instead transfers long-serving security bosses across Coast

In Summary

• MP attributes poverty to addiction, urges public to reveal drug lords. 

• Clerics start campaign in mosques to urge public to give information to police

Lamu leaders, clerics and elders have announced their support for the ongoing crackdown on drug barons at the Coast. 

They have, however, called on the government to change tack and instead transfer long-serving security bosses across the Coast saying many of them are the biggest hindrance to winning the war on drugs.

Led by Lamu Woman Rep Ruweida Obbo, they pledged to play their part in ensuring the region is rid of drugs, a menace they say has turned people into walking zombies. 

Speaking when they convened in Lamu town on Wednesday, various groups lauded Interior CS Fred Matiang’i for his tough stand on the matter saying the menace requires such an attitude to defeat.

Obbo said drugs had become a major hindrance to the development of the region, adding that many young people who had the potential to become future leaders are now enslaved to the vice.

She said drug trade has equally contributed to stifling poverty levels in Lamu as the users focus more on spending every single penny they get on satisfying their urge and forget to take care of their families. 

The MP urged members of the public to desist from hiding drug lords and kingpins and instead join hands with the relevant offices to end the menace and rescue the enslaved generation. 

“We are glad Matiang’i has intervened. It gives us leaders renewed hope that this is something we could defeat. The effects of drugs are a sorry affair. From broken marriages to poverty to increased crime. It’s time we took the bull by its horns to save this generation," Obbo said. 

She observed that a large number of those hooked to drugs in Lamu also suffer from HIV/Aids.

The rate of infection is high especially among those who share syringes and other piercing equipment when using drugs, she said, adding that it was impossible for any region to achieve meaningful development in such a state. 

 

The Coast Interfaith Council of Clerics chairperson Mohamed Abdulkadir said they have commenced a campaign in mosques and at public barazas to encourage the public to submit any information that will lead to the arrests of those behind the drugs trade in Lamu.

He said many drug peddlers are now using women to transport the drugs as they are rarely physically frisked and urged the government to deploy more female officers to be able to nab such traffickers.

“For the longest time it has been men and other weird tactics of transporting drugs but we want the government to know that women are being used to transport them because they never get checked. They assume women are harmless and that’s where the trouble begins,” Abdulkadir said.

Lamu Council of elders chairperson Shariff Kambaa proposed that those arrested in connection with drugs be denied bond. 

Edited by R.Wamochie