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Matiang'i renews war on drugs after Bamburi attacks

Sunday August 11 2019
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Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i, during a press conference in Mombasa on August 11, 2019, says the government is waging war against the drug trade, which is fanning criminality in the Coast region. PHOTO | LABAN WALLOGA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By MOHAMED AHMED

Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i has renewed the war against drug trafficking at the Coast, which he said was responsible for the increase of killer gangs terrorising the residents.

Dr Matiang'i on Sunday said dealing with drug traffickers would be “painful”, given the attendant risks.

“We are beginning an unprecedented effort to deal with drug peddling. I do not doubt that it is going to be painful, but we are prepared to start this journey,” Dr Matiang’i said when he emerged from a three-hour meeting with security and political leaders in Mombasa.

The leaders included Mombasa Deputy Governor William Kingi, Senator Mohammed Faki and MPs Abdulswamad Nassir (Mvita), Mohammed Ali (Nyali) and Mishi Mboko (Likoni).

Dr Matiang’i, who was accompanied by Inspector-General of Police Hillary Mutyambai, said there is a clear connection between drug peddling and the rise in criminal gangs.

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He said the drug trade has been a n issue at the Coast for a long time, adding that the government would move a step further, “even if it is looking among ourselves”.

He said he is fully aware of the risks but vowed to take them head-on. “This matter has been talked about for a long time. I honestly think Kenyans would not want to hear threats and promises from me but results. And I promise they will see results,” he said.

He added that more officers and additional equipment would be deployed to ensure the war is won.

“We will do whatever it takes.... we cannot surrender the lives of young people to drug dealers. What kind of society would we be?”

YOUTH EMPOWERMENT

The minister observed that the government's efforts to improve youth programmes in Mombasa are being frustrated by drug dealers.

“The time has come for choices to be made and, as the government, we have made ours. We also have to be sincere because this thing has destroyed children in Mombasa.

"We cannot continue talking to each other as if it ordinary business. It is not,” he said.

He said his visit was prompted by the Monday attack on Bamburi residents by a criminal gang that left 13 people injured.

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