What you need to know:
- Wajir County Commissioner said the lorry had a total of 93 bales each weighing 5 kilograms.
- The consignment was intercepted at Hadado within Wajir by police officers manning Lalkuta area.
Police in Wajir County are holding two suspected drug traffickers after they were found transporting bhang concealed as cement.
Wajir County Commissioner Jacob Narengo, while confirming the same, said the two suspects will be arraigned in court on Tuesday.
“It is true we have intercepted a lorry on transit loaded with bhang and two suspects are in police custody at the moment,” Narengo said by phone.
He said the lorry branded with Bamburi Cement's products was from the border of Wajir and Marsabit counties.
“The lorry had a total of 93 bales each weighing 5 kilograms with a street value of Sh4.6 million,” he said.
The consignment was intercepted at Hadado within Wajir by police officers manning Lalkuta area.
The two suspects have been identified as Mohamed Oloo, 41, believed to be the driver and Ibrahim Burji, 26, the turn boy.
Branding of the lorry with Bamburi Cement products was a concealment measure to traffic the hard drug to an unknown destination, according to Mr Narengo.
“We have intercepted and arrested drug traffickers in the past and we shall continue to arrest them until we win this war,” he said.
The Wajir County Security Committee Chairman blamed Shashamane, a township in Ethiopia for the increase in drug trafficking in North Eastern Kenya.
“I understand this consignment was from Shashamane in Ethiopia but we are in the process of knowing where it was headed to,” he said.
Shashamane is located only a few hours south of Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, and has a unique story.
In 1948, the Ethiopian emperor Hailie Selassie donated 500 acres as a land grant to Jamaicans of African descent to return to African. This was part of the “Back to Africa” movement.
The township is less than three hours from the Kenya-Ethiopia border at Moyale but it is more less hours through other illegal points along the porous border.
Majority of the residents are Rastafarians who according to their doctrine use the drug as a holy sacrament.
Bhang is simply referred to as ganja within Shashamane and some residents have it on a large scale production.
Despite being illegal in Ethiopia, ganja is quietly tolerated in Shashamane.
A regular visitor to the township once told me, “It’s a holy sacrament. We use ganja instead of wine, but we are not arrogant about it despite one getting “high” after using.”
It remains unclear if the Kenyan government has ever engaged their Ethiopian counterparts on dealing with the drug trafficking menace in the region.