"Your days are over," Kindiki warns drug barons

Interior CS Kithure Kindiki. [Kelvin Karani, Standard]

Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki has issued a stern warning to drug traffickers operating along the Kenyan Coast, equating their impact to that of terrorists.

Speaking in Kilifi on Wednesday, March 27, Kindiki stated his office is partnering with a multi-agency team comprising the Kenya Coast Guard Service, and the Kenya Defence Forces to eradicate drug peddlers, who, he said, have dashed the hopes of many Kenyans.

“If you look at the people who have been destroyed by drugs, they are even more than people who have been killed by terrorists in the last 10 years,” he said.

Kindiki announced the launch of the multi-agency operation that will include the Kenya Coast Guard Services and the Kenya Army and Navy to amp up surveillance over territorial waters.

“We aim to intercept the unholy alliance between big ships in the high seas and small boats which are sometimes used by crooked drug peddlers to offload drugs to sell to our people.”

“For the drug peddlers, your days are over. We will come for you like we are going for terrorists because the harm you have caused is worse.”

The renewed war against drug trafficking has ignited a fierce debate at the Coast, with opposition MPs and those in the ruling party accusing each other of inaction.

Opposition leaders, led by Mombasa Governor Abdulswamad Nassir, have also accused Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua of politicising the issue.

Nassir dismissed the Deputy President’s recent meeting in Mombasa, claiming he [Gachagua] was playing politics. He and other ODM leaders who did not attend the DP’s meeting dared him to name the politicians protecting the drug barons instead of maligning all leaders for political expediency.

“If he has intelligence and resources, why has he not arrested the barons? He should stop deceiving the public and shadowboxing. Arrest the barons and parade them for us to see,” said Nassir.

During the meeting, Gachagua took a swipe at political leaders at the Coast, accusing some of them of being silent in the fight against drug abuse while the youths perished.

“Why are some of the Coastal leaders silent on this issue, or could it be that they benefited from the monies in their campaigns? These are the questions we are asking,” said the DP.

Nyali MP Mohamed Ali (UDA) attacked the County boss for “doing little” in the fight against drug barons. He accused the county government of licensing many bars in residential areas that have turned into drug dens.