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Governor Joho tells off Uhuru, Ruto on drug trafficking claims

Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho on Tuesday dared President Uhuru Kenyatta to arrest and prosecute him if he had any evidence linking him to the narcotics trade.

A tough talking Joho said insinuations by the President and his deputy William Ruto that he was involved in the illegal business were meant to sabotage his political career.

“They did the same in 2013 and I kept quiet. But this time round, I will not shut up; I will engage them because nobody can intimidate me. I am also a man and will fight for myself,” he said.

The governor spoke just days after both Mr Kenyatta and Mr Ruto toured Mombasa and warned that the government would arrest drug dealers.

AKASHA BROTHERS

The visits came in the wake of the arrest and rendition to the US of the Akasha brothers and their allies on drug related charges.

The Jubilee leaders have since waged a public campaign alleging that the opposition was in bed with drug dealers and warning of more arrests.

But on Tuesday, an angry Joho asked why the government had failed to prosecute him if it had any evidence linking him to drugs.

He said Mr Kenyatta and Mr Ruto should clean their own house over the matter before pointing fingers and others.

Mr Joho accused Mr Kenyatta and Mr Ruto of waging a political war against him using the drugs issue, adding that the government lacked the political will to fight the menace.

POLITICAL PLOY

“They are making a public show that is all false … it is a political ploy to lock me out of the governor race. I tell them I will be on the ballot and I will defeat them. How can you tell a bank robber or a rapist that I will come for you? How can you give such a criminal notice? Just arrest him,” he said.

The governor was speaking during the first media event at his new office at Treasury Square. He said the county government had done more to fight drugs than the national government.

“We have more than 600 addicts at a rehabilitation centre and we have made more arrests of drug dealers than the national government,” he said.

Mr Joho admitted that the drug problem in Mombasa “is very serious”, but insisted that the war on narcotic drugs can only be won with a combined approach among various agencies including the county and national governments.

He said that his efforts to engage the County Commission office last year were met with resistance from the administrators.

“I was called only once by the County Commissioner (then Mr Mohamed Maalim) and you saw what happened. He was promptly transferred (to Kisumu),” he said.

POWERFUL DRUG DEALERS

On Tuesday, Mr Ruto said the government had drawn up a list of powerful drug dealers who will be arrested and prosecuted.

He warned that senior police officers accused of protecting the barons will also face the law.

Ibrahim Akasha, Baktash Akasha and their allies Vijaygiri Goswami and Gulan Hussein were arrested following a sting operation that involved US anti-drugs agents.