If the Parliament approves the new bill into Law, convicted drug lords and narcotic peddlers will be barred from seeking elective or appointive public office for 30 years.
A parliamentary committee has proposed new changes to the Narcotics, Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (Control) Amendment Bill, 2020 that will tighten the noose on narcotic drug traffickers.
“A person who is convicted of an offence under this Act shall be disqualified from being elected or appointed as a public officer for a period of thirty years after the conviction,” the proposed law states.
According to the National Assembly’s committee on Administration and National Security, the rationale for the amendment is to introduce a new section to bar convicted drug smugglers from being appointed or elected into public office.
Peddlers of drugs such as marijuana, and hard drugs like cocaine, heroin, crystal meth, stimulants, painkillers and prescription drugs have reduced some youth into zombies.
Research findings have shown that Cannabis Sativa (bhang) is the drug of choice for most drug abusers in Kenya.
According to the State of the Judiciary and the Administration of Justice Annual Report for 2018/2019, cases involving dangerous drugs rose to 8,021 in 2019 from 5565 in 2017 representing a 44.1 percent jump.
“There has been increase in cases heard and concluded by the Judiciary during the period 2016 to 2018 under the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (Control) Act No. 4 of 1994 that confirms the magnitude of the problem,” the report tabled in Parliament reads.
Nacada said 1.5 tonnes of heroine was seized in Kenya in 2018 making it one of the countries with seizure of the largest quantity of heroin.
“Kenya was among the top 13 frequently mentioned countries of origin, departure and transit of trafficking in cannabis, and was one of the main countries that heroine was trafficked to Western and Central Europe during that period,” Nacada said in a policy brief on the Bill.
The National Campaign Against Drug Abuse (NACADA), which is fronting changes to the law on narcotics said between 2007- 2019, 2,480 cases were filed at the High Court by convicted persons, who successfully appealed against the fines and imprisonment sentences imposed on them at magistrates’ courts.