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Drama as notorious Juja bhang peddlers surrender to police

By Kamau Maichuhie | July 4th 2016

Some of the notorious bhang peddlers from Juja and Ruiru who surrendered at Ruiru police station

JUJA, KENYA: Drama unfolded at Ruiru police station over the weekend when some of the notorious bhang peddlers in Juja and Ruiru voluntarily surrendered to the police.
While lifting their hands and chanting 'We surrender' the group of eight youthful men made their way to the police station much to the shock of police officers.
Business came to a standstill at the usually quiet police station as police officers and other people present angled to get a glimpse of what was going on outside.
The former bhang peddlers told journalists that the fear of always being arrested and spending many years behind bars made them abandon the illegal trade.

They revealed they sold most of their bhang to students from several universities and colleges in the area.
Irungu Kamuche, one of the peddler who had sold bhang for five years said he decided to leave the illegal trade four months ago after they got tired of having a brush with the law.
"For all the period we were selling bhang, we were always on our toes. We could hide all the time from police officers. Even though we made a lot of money, it was a life that was full of fear and uncertainty," said Mr Kamoche.
Another group member John Gitau who have been in the illegal trade for four years said they decided to abandon the trade after realising that the business was not reliable and sustainable.
"The police would always take advantage and arrest us and demand money so that we could secure our freedom. We had no choice but to part with the money. It reached a point when we realised the business was not tenable and decided to leave it," he said.
The group has since joined a rehabilitation center. Besides undergoing rehabilitation, they have also been engaging in new business ventures to ace out a living.
Patrick Mwaura has for example set up a Kinyozi using Sh 60,000 which he had managed to save while he was doing the illegal trade.
On his part, Stephen Karanja is now a boda boda operator in Juja town after he too used some of the proceeds from the business to buy a second hand motorcycle.
Some of their other colleagues are employed as casual laborers in nearby quarries where they are earning their living.
"We have repented our sins and left our bad ways. We have left the illegal business and are now engaged in straight and legally acceptable jobs," said Mr Mwaura a father of three.
The group is now appealing to a group of police officers from Juja police station to stop harassing them since they are no longer in the illegal business.
"We still have police officers who have not accepted and believed that were are no longer in the business. We want to tell the police that we have changed and they give us the opportunity to do our jobs in peace," said one of the group members.
Ruiru OCPD Isaac Thurannira who received the group commended them for their bold move. He said the police will work with them to completely wipe bhang menace in the area.
"I want to appeal to those still engaging in the illegal business to follow suit and surrender just like their colleagues have done," said Mr Thuranira.

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