US official lauds Kenya war on anti-narcotics

Bernard Gitau @benagitau

A US top official has commended Kenya for its cooperation that  resulted  to the prosecution of the Ibrahim Akasha family drug trafficking syndicate.

Kirsten Madison, US Assistant secretary under whose docket falls the fight against drugs and crime said the Akasha case is important in terms of international cooperation and partnership in fighting drug trafficking.

 “Partnership with Kenya is important. We do a lot of work with the government on improving law enforcement and prosecutor skills and build capacity to combat drug demand,” she said.

 On the allegations of 13 prominent Kenyans being under the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) radar as accomplices, Madison refused to comment. “I cannot speak specifically to the details as the matter is in narcotics court,” he said  in a telephone interview.

 Baktash Akasha Abdalla and Ibrahim Akasha Abdalla, who recently pleaded guilty to drug trafficking charges in a US court, had incriminated powerful government officials and businessmen who aided them in their illegal trade.

 Among those who were named included four judges, two sitting governors, a former governor from Mt Kenya, a former Cabinet secretary, a sitting MP, a retired senior police officer, a prominent city lawyer, a former MP, and a wealthy city businessman.

 Madison will attend the first ever International Society of Substance Use Professionals (ISSUP) Global Workshop in Africa from December 10-14 in Nairobi.

 The workshop organised by ISSUP, USA, Kenya and Africa Union will give the participants opportunity to share best practices and build cross-border collaboration in the fight against addiction.

 The global events comes as Kenya drugs and substance agency reveals 18.2 per cent of Kenyans aged 15 – 65 years are currently using at least one drug or substance of abuse. 

The National Authority for the Campaign Against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (Nacada) data shows that 12.2 per centof Kenyans uses alcohol which is ranked the highest.

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