Drug traffickers to get life in prison, barred from public office
Convicted drug traffickers will now be jailed for life after Parliament passed the Narcotics, Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Control (Amendment) Bill.
Offenders will also pay a fine amounting to three times the value of the drugs they are found with.
The new law distinguishes the offences of possession and trafficking in drugs.
Since the enactment of the Narcotics, Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (Control) Act No. 4 of 1994, Kenya has remained a significant transit country for a variety of illicit drugs including heroin and cocaine.
Drug consumption also continues to spike in the country, noted the mover of the Bill, Limuru MP Peter Mwathi who is the chairperson of the Committee on Administration and National Security.
The Bill was introduced last year by then Kiambaa MP Paul Koinange who was the chairperson of the committee until his death in March.
MPs also approved an amendment by the committee which bars any person convicted of peddling drugs and narcotic substances from seeking elective or appointive public office for 30 years after imprisonment.
“A person who is convicted of an offence under this Act shall be disqualified from being elected or appointed as a public officer for a period of thirty years after the conviction,” reads the new law.
Mwathi said the Bill enhances the punishment regime regarding possession and trafficking in drugs.
“The current fines and imprisonment imposed on convicted persons were informed by the market value of the drugs in 1994,” he said.
In the new law, a person who satisfies to the court that cannabis in his or her possession is intended solely for their own consumption, will get a reduced jail term of not more than five years or a fine of not more than Sh100,000.