Proceeds from the sale of illegal drugs are being used to finance gangs in Mombasa, Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i has said.
Dr Matiang’i noted that the criminals appear to be exploiting weaknesses in the security agencies, adding that security officials will be reshuffled.
“There is a clear nexus between the illicit drugs trade and peddling with certain political activities by people highly placed in this society,” said Matiang’i yesterday during a tour to assess the security in the county.
He revealed that an operation to arrest gang members is underway, one week after 30 machete-wielding gangsters attacked residents of Kisauni and Nyali sub-counties, injuring 14. The victims accused police of failing to act fast to prevent more injuries.
“We will also look inside among ourselves and reorganise to address this problem. It is possible there is a fundamental weakness among us with gaps to seal,” said the CS.
Matiang’i said Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai will personally supervise the security operations in the Coast region to get rid of the gangs and end the drug menace.
“It will be a painful exercise but I am glad the region’s political leaders have agreed to support us. I discussed our strategy with them and they are fine with it.”
In a meeting held at the Uhuru na Kazi building, Matiang’i warned that the State will not spare anyone linked to drug trafficking and criminal gangs.
In what he described as a “candid” discussion, Matiang’i also accused politicians of stifling the war on drugs by bailing out peddlers from police custody.
Leaders present included Deputy Governor William Kingi, Senator Mohamed Faki, Mishi Mboko (Likoni MP), Mohamed Ali (Nyali MP) and several MCAs.
The leaders tabled a raft of demands, key among them being calls to end land evictions in the region.
“We have agreed that we will not bail out the drug peddlers. But we also demand that police should be given more vehicles, and the number of police stations increased,” said Ms Mboko.