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Uhuru not afraid of dark forces

30 August 2014, 09:59 Victor Tinto

Nairobi - President Uhuru Kenyatta was quick to point out that he would not stop his pursuit of drugs and dealers, even if they are from the darkest part of the world.

The president, who personally led an operation to blow up a ship and destroy heroin worth over 11.4 million U.S. dollars (KES 1.3 Billion), warned the Port of Mombasa would no longer be a passage for the importation of illicit drugs.

He also overlooked a court order that threatened to derail the process to go on with the destruction.

"We will not allow drug barons to destroy the future of our young people. We will track and deal with them decisively," he said in Mombasa Friday.

Kenya recently signed a bilateral agreement with some Western nations that among others allows the countries to cooperate on sharing intelligence on drug tracking crime.

The drug use is blamed for affecting the ability of thousands of youth in the coastal town from going to school or performing economically productive roles.

Kenyatta said the destruction of the heroin sent a clear signal to drug traffickers that they will not be allowed to continue the illegal trade at the expense of the dreams of the Kenyan youth.

The president, aboard a Kenya Air Force chopper and the Kenya Navy in their modern warship KNS Jasiri -- led journalists, security personnel and anti-narcotic officials as the ship and the drugs were blown off in a well-coordinated exercise in the high seas.

The destruction of drugs impounded by the Kenya Navy last month was also witnessed by delegates who have been in the coastal city of Mombasa attending the 16th East Africa Police Chiefs Cooperation Organization (EAPCCO) annual general meeting.

Kenya's National Authority for the Campaign against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (NACADA) Chairman John Mututho said destruction of the drugs and the ship should serve as the final warning to drug barons.

He said owners of the destroyed drugs will be tracked down and prosecuted. "We are investigating 50 suspected drug barons and we are sure we will recommend action by the end of the year," Mututho said.

The NACADA chairman asked Parliament to review and strengthen the anti-narcotics law of 1994 to hasten the conclusion of drug- related cases in courts.

Mombasa County Commissioner Nelson Marwa said the government will not relent and has enhanced patrol in the sea to secure the future of Kenyan children by keeping them off drugs.

Traffickers have increasingly become smarter because of improved surveillance at the airports and have now resorted to using roads to reach their intended destinations.

Officials said the tragedy for Kenya has been the fact that some of the drugs have filtered into the country with cocaine and heroin being blamed for the drug use epidemic that is currently being contained in Kenya's coastal city of Mombasa.

Analysts said drug trafficking is also a threat to political stability in the eastern Africa region because beneficiaries can use the illicit money to influence government decision or support insurgents groups to fight legitimate governments.

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