Pubdate: Mon, 03 Apr 2006
Source: Daily Nation (Kenya)
Copyright: 2006 Nation Newspapers
Bookmark: (Cocaine)


The destruction of the cocaine haul at the weekend has allayed fears
that the dangerous drug may have been stolen and sold. But the
identity of the drug lords responsible for smuggling it is still a
mystery. It is also unclear if they had smuggled other shipments in
the past.

Whatever the case, and judging from the amounts involved - well over
one tonne worth billions of shillings - it is possible that the
smugglers may have been in business long before the cache was discovered.

As a matter of fact, Nairobi's strategic location as a regional
communication hub, coupled with inferior surveillance systems, are the
major attractions for drug traffickers who consider it a low-risk
transit point.

This is not to say Kenyan youths are out of harm's way. Even though
hard drugs are only accessible to affluent youths due to their
exorbitant prices, drug abuse is becoming rife in most urban centres.
But Kenya is not alone in this. Drug trafficking has permeated
virtually every society, cutting through social, cultural, religious
and economic barriers.

But what makes this country especially vulnerable is our health system
that is ill-equipped to mop out the effects of drug abuse. Moreover,
if the drug barons and their international associates are not stopped
in their tracks, Kenya runs the risk of joining other narco-capitalist
states where the political, economic and social spheres are dominated
by drug barons.

Although the country is not a narcotics exporter, its importance to
drug barons may increase unless the authorities do something. We may
even end up hosting those on the run from justice in their own
countries. That is not the kind of reputation Kenya would like to
have, as it could scare away tourists and investors. The drug
networks, whether local or international must, therefore, be destroyed
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