BY PETER KOMBE AND MEZA MWANZA
Drug traffickers and juvenile gangs have been put on notice of a pending massive crackdown to flush them out of their comfort zones in the Coast region.
Interior cabinet secretary Fred Matiang’i, speaking after holding a close door meeting with Mombasa County leadership at Uhuru na Kazi building today (August 11), warned that the government cannot let hoodlums take charge of the country.
He said law and order must prevail so that Kenyans could go about their businesses in a cordial and tranquil environment.
Without disclosing details, the CS added that he had shared a security operation plan with the local leadership on how to deal with drug traffickers operating within the region.
Terming the operation as painful, Dr Matiang’i told those juvenile gangs terrorising innocent people that they would face the full force of the law if they fail to reform.
“I do not want to tell you what we shall do but I want to assure you that it will be a painful exercise that we shall confront head on. We shall implement the plan and I shall supervise it,” he said.
The government, according to him, was ready to marshall its state machinery including deploying more security officers if need be to eradicate drug trafficking and criminal gangs.
Without divulging names, Dr Matiang’i warned politicians and highly-placed individuals behind some of the gangs for political expediency.
“We have shared candidly with the local leadership of these fellas financing some of the juvenile gangs and we want to say this: there are no more stories but action because Kenyans are tired of such stories,” he added.
He claimed the politicians’ tactics was geared towards intimidating their perceived opponents as they aligned themselves for political slots in the next general election.
Noting that drug trafficking and juvenile gangs have a long history in the region, the CS said the government would not sit back and see the country glide into oblivion.
“We are committed to ensure that youths being the future of this country are not left in the hands of merciless drug traffickers who use them for their selfish gains,” he added.
Mombasa senator Mohammed Faki noted that drugs and unemployment still remain a challenge in the county. He asked the government to devise ways and strategies of fighting insecurity.
“By sitting together today (Sunday) with the CS and the Inspector General of Police is an optimum opportunity hold dialogue on a variety of issues including drugs and unemployment,” he said.
Likoni MP Mishi Mboko said they would work jointly with the security to ensure the communities living there were safe and secure.
“As leaders we have agreed in one accord on how to deal with insecurity as stakeholders. The CS has rolled out a clear plan on how we shall all embrace the security issue,” she said.
On Thursday, the Kenya National Congress of Pentecostal Churches and Ministries Coast chapter asked the government to arrest all financiers of illegal gangs in Mombasa County.
The body was responding to the Bamburi attack on innocent citizens by crudely armed juvenile gangs.
Led by Bishop Tee Nalo the body’s chairperson the clergy said the financiers should be locked in and forced to pay the price of the innocent Kenyans.
“We are perturbed by the recent happenings in Bamburi Kisauni Sub County where innocent Kenyans were hacked using machetes. Some of them are still nursing injuries in hospital,” said the bishop
Last week, some 11 people were left with body injuries when a gang of youths armed with crude weapons were on rampage in Kisauni and Nyali constituencies.
Those in attendance were Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai, Coast Regional coordinator John Elungata, Mombasa County Commissioner Evans Achoki and Mombasa Deputy Governor Dr William Kingi.
Others were legislators Abdullswamad Nassir (Mvita), Mohammed Ali (Nyali), Mombasa County Assembly Speaker Aharub Khatri and numerous Mombasa county assembly members MCAs).