NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 8 – The National Council of Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) is urging the government to consider granting amnesty to drug dealers who confess about their involvement in the illegal drugs business.
Addressing the press on Wednesday, the council’s Chairperson Stephen Cheboi said the move will help the country win the war on narcotics by weakening the network of drug barons.
“It is actually the role of government to eradicate the menace but we’re saying any person who comes out and admits that he/she was dealing in drugs should be given amnesty,” he said.
He however warned that proper mechanisms needed to be put in place to ensure that those pardoned do not misuse the opportunity.
According to Cheboi, joint efforts from both State and non-State actors are key to ensure illicit trading of drugs becomes an issue of the past.
“They should not politicise this issue of drug abuse because it is affecting people’s lives,” Cheboi noted in reference to recent political undercurrents where some political players decried their alleged involvement in drug trafficking to political rivalry.
Cheboi also cautioned politicians against undermining security forces fighting the vice, saying such actions were not in the best interests of the public.
“When Kenyans are suffering from various problems, political leaders should not take advantage of the same,” he added.
The council’s statement comes a day after Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho accused the government of politicizing the anti-narcotics crusade to achieve a regime change in Mombasa County.
“You don’t solve such a big problem like this by politicizing it. You don’t play politics with people’s lives,” he said.
In what appeared to be an attack directed towards Coast Regional Coordinator Nelson Marwa, Joho sensationally claimed that his administration had through the County Inspectorate arrested more drug peddlers compared to the authorities.
“We have made much more arrests than the police have done through the County Inspectorate,” Joho said.
Joho’s statement came hot on the heels of Deputy President William Ruto’s stern warning to drug barons on Monday, forearming admonishing those dealing in hard drugs to quit before the long arm of the law catches up with them.
“This war is going to escalate even more, not because of elections but because it is a justified war,” the DP cautioned.
“The war on terror and drugs is one,” he added saying money raised from peddling drugs was being used to bankroll terrorists.