Governor Nassir warns against politicizing the war on drugs

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A group of recovering drug addicts./COURTESY

>>BY BRAMWEL CHENGWALI>>

Mombasa Governor Abdulswamad Sheriff Nassir has warned politicians to refrain from politicizing the fight against drugs and substance abuse.

Speaking during the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, Governor Nassir said for a long time drugs and substance abuse had been used to score politically in the coast region.

“It is time for us to stop playing mind games at the expense of the people of Mombasa,” said Nassir.

The Mombasa Governor blamed the country’s National Intelligence Service for failing to address the drug menace alleging that NIS had failed to take action against drug traffickers despite knowing who they are.

“If the Intelligence wants to know what I did in the morning they can do so, why is it difficult for them to identify the people destroying our generation with drugs?” Nassir posed.

Governor Nassir said that County governments are ready to deal with the menace if the national government is not able to.

“If the national government fails to protect our people, it should give us the resources to do so,” said Abdulswamad.

The county Boss ordered the Mombasa County Security Council to publish monthly reports on the progress made in the fight against drugs in Mombasa County.

“Being the chair of Mombasa County Security Council, I ask the Council to make the information known to the public on those arrested and persecuted on offense of drugs,” said Abdulswamad.

He said Mombasa County will enforce the 150 meters regulation policy to protect children in schools from accessing drugs easily.

The policy requires bars and entertainment places to be at least 150 meters from schools and churches and mosques.

“We have to review the licenses for bars to ensure those that operate are only in the safe areas,” said Abdulswamad

He pointed out that the revenues collected from the bars and entertainment places will be channeled to the rehabilitation of drug addicts.

Also, the county government promised to enroll those who have recovered from drugs in a free National Health Insurance Fund paid by the county government.

Despite criticism, Governor Nassir said more money will be pumped into the Mombasa Yetu program to provide jobs for recovered addicts.

“For those opposing the Mombasa Yetu program let them continue but in this year’s budget we will allocate more money to help the reformed,” said Nassir.

“People first: stop stigma and discrimination, strengthen prevention”

In attendance at the event were Deputy Governor Francis Thoya, Mombasa County Assembly Speaker Aharub Khatri, Jomvu Member of Parliament Bady Twalib, and Reachout center trust director Taib Basheeib among other leaders.

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