The Star (Nairobi)

1 April 2012

Kenya: Shahbal Vows to Deal With Drugs Menace

Mombasa county governor aspirant Suleiman Shahbal has said fighting drugs will be in his first priority if elected.

He said the rampant drug menace in Mombasa is a threat to the youth and the county's development. Shahbal was speaking during the launch of Mombasa Inter-colleges and Universities Students Association in Mombasa on Saturday.

Meanwhile, the anti- drug war in the county got a boost as a lobby group walked to raise money for rehabilitation of former drug users. The groups held the charity walk under the umbrella of Sharrif Nassir Foundation, Mombasa Maize Milers and the Hassan Joho Foundation. "I lost my brother to drugs while two family members have been rendered junkies. I want residents of Mombasa from Mshomoroni to Shika Adabu to Miritini to unite and eradicate the menace," he said.

He said it is too much to expect some leaders, who he claimed are targeting drug money for their campaigns to fight the menace. "Nobody will deter my quest to restore the lost glory of this city. Let's get united regardless of tribe, race and age to fight this menace," Shahbal said. He told the youth that his leadership will create employment for them, adding that no graduate in the county will be jobless because job creation will be his priority.

On Saturday morning, the groups held a procession in town before converging at Mombasa's historic Tononoka ground to educate the youth on the dangers of drugs. Abdulswamad Sharrif Nassir, chairman to Shariff Nassir Foundation, said the campaign is aimed at raising funds for rehabilitation programmes of former drug users. "We plan to collect between Sh6 million and Sh9 million from the walk. Drug abuse has become a menace in this town and we hope our efforts will yield fruit," he said.

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