The national administration jointly with the Judiciary in Makueni County torched 567 kilograms of cannabis sativa worth Sh17 million at Kizingo in Makindu sub-county on Tuesday evening.
The exercise was led by Makueni County Commissioner (CC) Kaburu Kaimba and the Makindu Law Courts Senior Principal Magistrate (SPM) Benson Ireri who were accompanied by the county security team and Regional heads from DCI and NACADA.
Kaimba lamented that the continued use of bhang has impacted negatively on the education whereby some students have dropped out of school besides being involved in other criminal activities.
Consequently, the County Commissioner said the drug menace has also affected the economy as those involved could not do any meaningful engagement that would help them earn a living.
In this regard, the administrator said there was a need for all people to come out and fight the vice in a bid to minimize its effects on the county.
“The destruction of this bhang is going to serve as a warning to those engaged in this illegal business that has affected our children, the economy and the education sector. Urge all to come out and fight this vice,” said Kaimba while addressing wananchi and government officials who came to witness the destruction of the bhang at Kizingo.
Addressing the same function, Ireri said that he has used the law of Narcotics, Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (Control) which takes measures for preventing, combating and regulation of the drugs.
“The law states that when such drugs have been found, it should be destroyed and overseen by the Magistrate handling the case. He should make sure the drugs are burnt completely,” he said.
He further said that the suspects who were transporting the bhang disappeared and were yet to be arrested but the vehicle and bhang were impounded on April 5, 2022 when the incident occurred.
Ireri disclosed that the prosecution did apply for the destruction of the bhang and also want the vehicle forfeited to the State.
“The Office of the Director of Prosecution did an application to the court to burn the drugs and the vehicle be forfeited to the government. The case is ongoing and we shall make a ruling once it is complete,” said Ireri while speaking to the media.
On his part, the DCI Regional Coordinator Eastern Lenny Kisaka who represented the Regional Commissioner called for concerted efforts by all departments to create awareness among wananchi in order to combat the vice.
In this regard, he urged wananchi to work closely with the security agencies and volunteer information that could be used in confidence to fight the use and sale of drugs along the busy Mombasa-Nairobi highway which is being used to transport the illegal drugs.
“There is a need to carry out awareness in schools, mosques and churches to combat the use of drugs in the region. Chiefs and their assistants and wananchi need to work closely with the security agencies to end this vice,” said Kisaka.
The vehicle carrying the bhang, a White Nissan Vanette 200 Reg. KDG 245D, was abandoned at Syengoni murram road in Makindu April 5, 2022 by the suspects whereby several sacks were recovered including number plates.
Also present at the torching was Eastern Regional head NACADA Alex Njeru.