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Activists fighting drug cartels receive death threats

Activists campaigning against drug abuse in the Coast are now living in fear after their Kwale and Kilifi colleagues were threatened by unknown people.

They suspect the threats could be instigated due to their campaigns and fight against drug trafficking.

They are now asking the government to provide them with security.

Speaking on their behalf, Reachout Centre Trust Executive Director Taib Abdhulrahman, said the assailants could also attack other anti-drugs crusaders in Mombasa.

He said three drug crusaders in Lamu, Kilifi and Kwale have received death threats.

“We don’t know who is next, some of us are also receiving threats and they don’t want to come out. We are scared and living in fear. Our nature of job is very dangerous,” said Mr Abdhulrahman.

He said rehabilitation centres in the region have played a major role in reduction of drugs’ demand.

“We are targeting the addicts hence demand for drugs has gone down. Most of the dens are not operating fully because we have fished out the addicts and enrolled them in the rehab. It is the government which is dealing with traffickers. Women have not come out to campaign against drugs due to these kind of threats,” he added.

The activist said were it not for their efforts, more youths could become zombies due to drug abuse.

He urged the government to recognise their work and protect them against the suspected traffickers.

On February 19, a car belonging to a Kwale anti-drugs crusader was torched while parked in a yard.

Teens Watch director Cosmas Maina blamed drug barons however he said he will not be cowed.

He however expressed fears over his life.

On March 20, armed robbers killed a watchman at his rehabilitation centre and stole a laptop laden with crucial information about the institution’s operations.

In Malindi an anti-narcotics drugs activist Mohamed Famau, received death threatening message from a suspected terror group warning him of being a police informer who has led to the arrest of radicalised youths.

The chairman of Maarufu anti-drug Community Based Organization (CBO) project went into hiding after receiving similar message five days ago, despite reporting the matter to the police.

“My life is in danger and I am asking the government to provide me with security together with my family,” he spoke in Malindi town moments before he went into exile.

Malindi Police boss Matawa Muchangi said he is closely following up the complaint and they have begun investigation that shall lead to arrest of the suspect.

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