Governor Hassan Joho has made Mombasa Port his preferred transit route for contraband goods, President Uhuru Kenyatta has claimed.
He said the port has made it possible for illicit trade and storage of contraband for distribution in the local market.
“Unajua hawa watu wa vitendawili wamezoea ile kazi ya kuleta mizigo na madawa ya kulevya hapa kwa port, tunaelewana?
“Ati ndio wasilipe customs… hio ndio biashara yao ya kuleta mizigo [ili] wasilipe ushuru [na] wauzie Wakenya huku. Ndiposa unaona haja yao sana ni hio port. Sisi tumewambia hio biashara imeisha,” Uhuru said on Tuesday
This is loosely translated as, “You know these riddlers are used to smuggling contraband goods and drugs through this port so that they don’t pay custom fees. They don’t pay tax on imported goods sold to Kenyans. That is why they target this port. We have told them that business is over.”
It is not the first time Joho has been linked with trading in narcotics.
But police have been unable to link the governor to the smuggling of these drugs, expect contraband goods.
During the height of war on narcotics in February, the governor denied being a drug lord and asked the government to arrest him she has any prof.
He blamed the link on political rivals seeking to block him from defending his seat.
“No one has ever accused me of drug trade or summoned me over the same. These are fabricated lies (by Jubilee leaders) to block me from defending my seat,” Joho said during a press conference.
The Mombasa Port is notorious for smuggling and collusion between barons and port officials.
Cocaine and heroin amounting to billions have been seized at the port over years with unprecedented increase and publicity when Uhuru took office.
In June 2014, Kenya Navy patrol ships intercepted MV Al Noor ship off Kenya’s coast in Lamu sailing towards the port of Mombasa with 377kg of heroinhe worth Sh1.3 billion. Uhuru ordered its destruction in full glare contravention of an injunction.
In August 2016, cocaine worth Sh600 million was seized at Mombasa port by police.
In July 2017, Kenya’s anti-narcotics police intercepted suspicious containers loaded with heroin at the port. About 342.67 kg of heroine was extracted from 1,800 litres diesel in Fuel reservoir in the vessel.