, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 7 – Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho now says the war on drugs has been politicized, while questioning the timing of the spirited efforts to fight the menace, which has rendered hundreds of youths ineffective.
A visibly infuriated Joho told journalists on Tuesday that a similar drug narrative was used in 2013 during the elections to discredit him.
He accuses the National Government of sidelining him in the fight, saying it remains a challenge due to lack of goodwill.
“We have made much more arrests than the police have done through the County Inspectorate,” the Governor said.
“This is a serious issue and we all appreciate the magnitude of the issue. This is a big problem and the way to tackle the drug menace in Mombasa requires synergy. We have done our bit as a county.”
He said that in one of the county facilities, they were rehabilitating more than 600 drug addicts.
“You don’t solve such a big problem like this by politicizing it. You don’t play politics with people’s lives,” the ODM Deputy Party Leader said.
Joho went ahead to defend a recent incident where he was allegedly arrested after he went to a police station to demand the release of a suspect.
“I simply went to inquire over an arrest of someone known to me,” he said.
President Uhuru Kenyatta has since said that the government will now focus on the ‘big fish’, in a bid to dismantle what is believed to be a powerful and networked drug cartel in the country and the region.
The battle against the two vices was inseparable since terror operatives got a sizable amount of funding from proceeds of illegal drugs, according to Deputy President William Ruto.
“The war on terror and drugs is one,” he said adding. Drug money is being used to finance terrorism and terrorists are facilitating the trade in drugs and therefore it is a twin war that we must win.”
Ruto said individuals trading in narcotics in the country have been put on notice, warning that they have to find alternatives to conduct their unlawful business since the government will not relent on cracking down on drug cartels.
“There’s no option of us contemplating losing this war because it is a war for the future of our country. Those engaging in this business must know the end has come.”
On Tuesday Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery said no stone will be left unturned, until all drug barons are brought to book.
He refuted claims that the war on drugs had been politicised.