EDITORIAL: There is need to come down hard on drug offenders

Last week, Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta ordered the scuttling of a ship that had been used to smuggle drugs worth billions of shillings.

Last week, Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta ordered the scuttling of a ship that had been used to smuggle drugs worth billions of shillings.

The ship went down with its cargo, it was reported.

In our region, the coastal countries of Kenya and Tanzania have in the past acted as key parts in the international drug trade machinery and authorities accused of doing nothing to stop it. Kenyatta’s action should help change that perception.

Last week again, a lady traveling from Burundi was found with a kilo of cocaine worth millions of francs tucked under her clothes. Burundi? One would ask, How do drugs transit through if security is not compromised?

As long as authorities in our countries do not come to terms with the effects of the drug trade; to our economies and our population, we will forever live with the scourge.

Cocaine is regarded as a recreational drug of the upper society because only they can afford it as well as the cost of a rehabilitation clinic in case they become addicts.  But what will happen to the common man if he adopts behaviours of the rich and famous? Who will pick the tab if not the government?

In our country, the five-year jail term for drug offenders is not a deterrent enough in respect to the financial windfall that follows a successful deal. Many will likely take the plunge and hope for the best.

Harsh penalties for drug peddlers is the only answer, otherwise with the current global financial situation, there will always be people ready to take the risk.

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