, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 9 – The government was on Wednesday morning put to task over allegations of shielding drug barons and compromising investigations into the illegal trade.
The issue which was raised by Budalangi MP Ababu Namwamba, saw the government accused of being lax and ignoring the warning signs of the menace.
Despite attempts by Internal Security Assistant Minister, Orwa Ojode, to protect the government from the accusations, several legislators including Gichugu’s Martha Karua, and nominated MP Rachael Shebesh maintained their stance demanding that action be taken.
Karua also challenged the government to transfer police officers attached to various stations in the coast province claiming that they had been compromised.
“People in the Coast province are crying for help; Kenyans are crying for help and it is obvious for everyone expect the police – majority of who are compromised by drug cartels. Can the minister be real and tell us if the government has been influenced,” she demanded.
Ojode however stressed that the government had not been influenced and that it would get to the bottom of the issue.
He also said that a special committee had been set up to look into the fresh details emerging, from a recent media report, over the drug scam that allegedly saw a top officer, investigating it killed.
“If we were compromised we would not even have this preliminary report and we are also investigating what we are seeing on the TV and we will take action against those involved,” he said.
The government however found itself in murkier waters when Ojode said that investigations, started mid this year into the menace, were still ongoing.
Several top names of businessmen and legislators were named in the preliminary report as those suspected to be behind the trade.
Dujis MP Adan Duale demanded to know why the government had released a list of people suspected to be drug barons although the investigations were incomplete.
“Why did you release an incomplete report and destroyed people’s families, careers, friends, and businesses and then you come here and tell us that you have no evidence? The repercussions are too grave,” he countered.
Ojode further said that the reason why the government conducted investigations on the specific individuals was because they had been listed by the former American envoy to Kenya Michael Ranneberger.
However Duale argued that the government should have conducted its own investigations without being prompted by the former ambassador.
Mumias MP Benjamin Washiali also reiterated Duale’s statements.
“Do you use your intelligence network or do you use ambassadors to do your work?” quipped Duale.
“Do we have to wait for Jicho Pevu (KTN’s investigative segment) to tell us what happened to that officer?” asked Washiali.
Namwamba and Mwangi Moturi (Kiharu) also demanded to know when the investigations would be concluded. They further demanded that the government issues an apology to those mentioned as suspected drug cartels.
The assistant minister could however not issue a definite response. He also rubbished the calls to apologise to those mentioned saying investigations were incomplete.
“Apologise to whom and for what? I just said that we have not completed the investigations,” he countered.