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Citizen Weekly

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

'DRUG LORDS FUNDING POLITICAL CAMPAIGNS IN KENYA'



NAIROBI: The latest US State Department report on international narcotics trafficking describes Kenya as a significant transit country for a variety of drugs including Southwest Asian heroin and South American cocaine. And in a chilling revelation, the report says that drug barons use their dirty money to fund political campaigns, buy influence with government officials, law enforcement officers, politicians and the media. In a scathing analysis of Kenya's drug problem dated March 2015, the US State Department is critical of the authorities' efforts to combat international drug trafficking and also the country's weak investigation and prosecution record. It warns that drug money is corrupting many institutions in Kenya and weakening the nation. "Kenya is a significant transit country for a variety of illicit drugs, including Southwest Asian heroin and South American cocaine, with an increasing domestic user population," the report says. The annual International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR) (2014) by the Department of State to the US Congress, also notes an increase in methamphetamine and ephedrine trafficking in African countries including Kenya. According to the document, traffickers appear to be exploiting African nations on a more substantial scale. Heroin, primarily of Afghan origin, typically arrives in ports in Tanzania, Kenya and Mozambique from South West Asia and is subsequently transported by land to South Africa, Zambia and Botswana while some of the drug is trafficked via air to Europe. "Africa is now a source of methamphetamine destined for Asia, and trafficking through East Africa has been reported...Imports of precursor chemicals, including those used to produce methamphetamine and psychotropic substances, are on the rise, with cannabis (bhang) and khat (miraa) being grown domestically for both local use and export," states the report. According to the document, drug trafficking organisations take advantage of corruption within the Kenyan government and business community. Proceeds from trafficking are further used to fuel the corruption of Kenyan institutions, adversely impacting the lives of Kenyan citizens.