Former National Authority for the Campaign against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (NACADA) Chairman Mr John Mututho, has called on Parliament to fast-tract enactment of the Anti-narcotic Bill into law.
Mututho said the solution in dealing with the drug menace and drug lords lay in enacting into law the anti-narcotic Bill currently in the National Assembly.
He regretted that Covid-19 pandemic had seen the fight against outlawed drugs and other substances reduce as the authorities focused more on the virus containment adding that there was need for intensifying the anti-narcotic fight as well.
Addressing the press in Naivasha yesterday, Mututho observed “The country’s hope to curb drug abuse rests with the honorable members acting fast to enact the bill.”
He singled out provisions of the bill that proposes seizure of all assets belonging to drug barons once convicted of their offenses and the proceeds of their illegal businesses directed to rehabilitate the addicts.
While hailing the 12th parliament for efforts to amend the current Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances control Act, Mututho acknowledged that its provisions were more lenient on drug barons and suppliers which was an impediment to the anti-drugs fight.
He thus noted that the new bill has introduced hefty fines targeting drugs peddlers which will significantly address the current crisis of drug abuse in the country.
The former NACADA chair was happy that JOMEC Rehabilitation Center in Nakuru has rehabilitated more than 3,500 addicts including 300 government officers. “We must tighten our laws to confront the current challenges in drugs and substance abusers,” said Mututho.
He at the same time appealed to the government to increase budgetary allocation to NACADA saying the Sh300m the agency get currently is not enough to fight deep pocketed drug barons who he alleged were backed by some rogue State officers.
He further called on the World Health Organization to support government efforts in the fight against drug abuse and dismissed calls by a section of members of the public to legalize bhang saying the drug had adverse health effects on consumers.
There have been several attempts to legalize marijuana in the country through legislation in Parliament and court petitions with the latest attempt coming from the Rastafari Society of Kenya.
By Erastus Gichohi