The newly appointed Coast Regional Commissioner (RC) John Elungata has announced a crackdown on drug trafficking and pledged to rescue the region from the clutches of the illicit drugs trade.
He also pledged to stamp out trade in counterfeit and contraband goods and fight organised crime in the region.
Elungata said for the region to develop all stakeholders need to cooperate with his office and other government agencies.
The administrator said he will not sit by and watch as drugs pervade different levels of the society and announced that operations to flush out dealers will be sustained.
‘I am sending a strong signal to drug barons, traffickers and peddlers that it would not be business as usual under my watch’ said Elungata.
He said the security agencies will be seeking public support to fight the drugs menace in the region saying ‘we will not allow the coastal region to become the playground for drug barons’.
The RC asserted that the crackdown on illicit drugs in the coastal counties of Mombasa, Kwale, Kilifi and Lamu will not relent and sent a warning to youth taking part in gangsterism that their days are numbered.
Elungata urged religious and community leaders to confront the problems of drug and substance abuse among the youth ‘because its impact on society is huge and cannot be wished away’.
‘It is disheartening to see that the youth engage in drug and substance abuse at the expense of other economic activities resulting in perpetual poverty,’ he said.
He directed the security agencies to crackdown on the notorious criminal gangs calling themselves ‘Wakali Wao’ and ‘Wakali Kwanza’ and restore confidence in residents, visitors and traders.
Elungata says neighbourhood watch committees otherwise known as Nyumba Kumi initiative will be activated in all the six counties of the coastal region to help police combat crime.
Chairing his first security and intelligence meeting in Mombasa, Elungata said the security agencies will intensify the war on drugs, terrorism and smuggling of contraband goods.
Speaking to Kenya News Agency, the RC promised strict action against drug peddlers, smugglers of contraband goods from neighbouring countries and criminal gangs.
He said the influx of counterfeit goods and illicit trade is growing at a surprising rate in the region thereby posing a clear and present danger to the local economy.
Elungata said police will fight in a sustained manner to rid the markets of counterfeit and illicit goods that he said are denying the government revenue and also expose Kenyans to health risks.
‘We are upping our game and are determined to win the war against the drugs, smuggling of contraband goods and terrorism,’ he said adding that security officers are under strict instructions to go after the drug barons.
He has also warned that those taking part in land invasions across the coastal region will be dealt with severely by the security agencies.
Mr. Elungata contended that land invasion is a breach of the law that will not be entertained under his watch.
‘We will not allow people to just wake up in the morning and lay claim to large tracts of private land and start to allocate land to themselves,” he said.
And in a meeting he later held with regional departmental heads and County Commissioners drawn from Mombasa, Kwale, Kilifi, Lamu, TaitaTaveta and Tana River and urged them to act with a sense of urgency in the provision of services to Kenyans.
‘Public servants need to take the provision of service delivery to the citizenry very seriously,’ he said.
He said the national government will not tolerate any laxity, slackness and corruption on the part of public servants while executing development programmes and projects.
The administrator warned the public servants that it was not ‘business as usual’ as the government will not ‘tolerate public officers who fail to perform their duties effectively and beyond reproach’.
Elungata expounded on the executive order No 1 of 2019 issued by the President that creates the framework for co-ordination and implementation of national government development programmes and projects across the country.
The regional development implementation and co-ordination committee will also seek to identify and suggest solutions for bottlenecks that hinder the implementation of the national government development programmes and projects within the region.
Elungata said several massive infrastructure projects are taking shape across the coast region such as the Dongo Kundu by-pass road that seeks to decongest Mombasa, Mombasa Port expansion and the Lamu Port South Sudan Ethiopia Transport Corridor Project,
‘We have agreed to hold meetings every two weeks to review execution of government projects with a specific focus on the Big Four Programmes,’ he said.
He asked officials of the national government working in the counties to create synergy, teamwork and a sense of shared responsibility in the delivery of public goods and services.
He said public servants should carry out their functions with the highest professional standards and should be mindful of their positions of public trust ‘otherwise Kenyans will lose confidence in the government’.
Elungata has vowed to ensure the ministry of education achieves the 100 per cent primary to secondary school transition as directed by President Uhuru Kenyatta.
‘As we speak now the form one transition this year stands at about 60 per cent but we are determined the remaining 40 per cent will be achieved in the next few weeks,’ he said adding that he is personally visiting all the sub-counties in the region to ensure optimum transition rate.
By Hussein Abdullahi