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Anti-drug lobby backs new prosecution guidelines

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Anti-drug lobby Reachout Centre Trust has fully backed efforts to implement new prosecution guidelines in the country.

The Organisation says the new guidelines from the Director of Public Prosecution Noordin Hajj will not only change the mode of enhancing justice in the courts but will stop reckless arrests and detention among petty offenders.

According to RCT Executive Director Taib Abdulrahman, some of those who have been arrested and detained are people who use drugs a step that doesn’t impact the fight against drug use among Kenyans.

Speaking at the Organisation’s office in Oldtown, Mombasa, Taib said the move is in the right direction and will ensure people who use drugs are not arrested but registered to Methadone treatment in designated clinics in Mombasa.

“We have for years engaging various authorities on this particular issue where people using drugs instead of being treated and reunited with their families they are detained without treatment or counseling sessions,” revealed Mr. Taib.

He said if the new guidelines are fully implemented such rights violations against people who use drugs will be contained.

“This is a new beginning and the new guidelines from the DPP will hugely impact our activities aimed at disentangling people who use drugs,” reiterated Mr. Taib.

In the new guidelines, police and prosecutors are required to assess the evidence gathered before pressing any charges against a suspect.

The prosecutors are further required to weigh various alternative dispute resolutions before opting for charges before the court.

However, the prosecutors are warned against being guided by political inclinations, ethnicity, or personal desires for conviction but public interest and dispensation of justice.

In support of the new prosecution guidelines Interior Cabinet Secretary Dr. Fred Matiang’i said they will ease congestion in remands and prison’s countrywide.

“Detaining petty offenders is very expensive, the government pays over 30,000 in demanding a traffic offender while they can pay 600 shillings fine for the offense,” said Matiang’i.