WAR ON DRUGS

Drugs hinder Coast youth from joining KDF, forum told

Many of them fail the substance abuse test during recruitment

In Summary
  • Security forum between community leaders and security agencies told young people in the region fail to pass the substance abuse test.
  • Speakers at the forum asked Matiang’i to stop the entry of drugs into the Coast region
Kemnac chair Sheikh Juma Ngao, Interior CS Fred Matiang'i and community leader Zamzam Mohamed at Star of the Sea Hall in Mombasa on Wednesday, February 17, 2021
HEADS TOGETHER: Kemnac chair Sheikh Juma Ngao, Interior CS Fred Matiang'i and community leader Zamzam Mohamed at Star of the Sea Hall in Mombasa on Wednesday, February 17, 2021
Image: JOHN CHESOLI

                         

Fewer youths from the Coast get recruited into the Kenya Police Service and Kenya Defence Forces compared to other regions because most fail the drugs test, a forum heard on Wednesday.

The forum held in Mombasa brought together community leaders including Nyumba Kumi ambassadors and village elders and security agencies led by Interior CS Fred Matiang’i at Tononoka Social Hall.

In most cases, youth from other regions pass all the tests during recruitment, speakers said.

“It is a shame that the Coast region has been turned into a dumping place for drugs including hard ones like cocaine, and the others like bhang, miraa and muguka,” Nyali District Peace Committee chairperson Mama Shamsa said.

Speakers at the forum asked Matiang’i to stop the entry of drugs into the region.

“Our biggest issue here at the Coast is drug abuse,” Shamsa said.

Matiang’i acknowledged the drug issue at the Coast is a headache for security apparatus but assured the community leaders that the war on drugs will be intensified.

Already, security officers in Mombasa have identified 39 locations in the county that will be under 24-hour watch in an attempt to repulse a minor resurgent wave of crime.

Two weeks ago, juvenile gangs attacked and injured residents in Mwandoni and Mshomoroni, both in Kisauni sub-county for two consecutive days.

Security agents have blamed the resurgence on drug abuse.

The meeting followed another one where the CS met administrative officers including chiefs and their assistants.

Matiang’i said the 39 locations need deployment of extra security resources as the war on drug trafficking is intensified.

The CS said the fight against drugs was slow but there was gradual progress.

On the KDF recruitment, Matiang’i told journalists it has to be done in a scientific and objective way. “I have assured them that the recruitment will always be done objectively and fairly because that is the principle and philosophy of the sector.

Already, 5,000 recruits have joined KDF and another 5,000 will be taken into the National Police Service next week.

 

-Edited by Sarah Kanyara