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Drugs Behind Schools Woes, Says Kibaki

The Nation (Nairobi), 21 July 2001

The government is to blame for rising student indiscipline because it has been protecting drug traffickers, Democratic Party Chairman Mwai Kibaki said yesterday.

Mr Kibaki said drug barons, who have found a ready market in schools, had entrenched themselves and "no one can now touch them".

He alleged that the traffickers were known.

The DP boss cited the Meru-Nairobi road, and said vehicles transporting miraa and bhang from the Mount Kenya Forest passed through 15 police roadblocks without being stopped.

"The few drivers who are stopped only give a Sh100 bribe and they are let through," Mr Kibaki told a gathering during the Othaya schools prize-giving day in the town.

He said powerful people own "well-managed bhang plantations" in the forest. "The people selling drugs to our children are killers and are responsible for deteriorating education standards in the country," Mr Kibaki said.

The DP chairman challenged the local community to report bhang growers to the police so that action could be taken.

At the same time, Mr Kibaki, who is also the Othaya MP, criticised the Ministry of Education for transferring teachers who engage in sexual activities with students. He suggested they be sacked instead.

He differed with local education officials and teachers who said performance in last year's primary school examination was good. "There is nothing to boast about. Ten schools which trailed behind academically 10 years ago are still performing poorly to date."

Copyright 2001 The Nation. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com).