The number of murder cases reported in the media from Kisii is worrying. Hardly a day passes without someone losing their life prematurely. Speculations have been floated about the increasing moral decay in the region.
Gucha sub-county probation officer, Elijah Omanga pointed out that drug abuse is the leading cause of rampant murder and suicide cases.
However, he blamed society at large for turning a blind eye to the vice, claiming no one is willing to come out and condemn this bad habit.
“There is no goodwill from the community and societal leaders,” said Omanga, adding that “drugs and substance abuse has claimed more lives in the region.”
Omanga said Nyamache and Sameta sub-counties, both in Bobasi Constituency are leading in the number of murder cases in the County adding that bhang and illicit brews are the main drugs abused.
“The statistics show that there were nine cases related to drug abuse in December last year and already there are three in January this year,” Omanga said.
The probation officer singled out a case of a man who recently killed his two daughters with a machete. He said the murder suspect was intoxicated before committing the heinous act. This is just one example of the many similar cases he receives daily.
Omanga said the political class is not willing to tackle these issues head-on and has not fully committed themselves to fight drug abuse.
“Some politicians go to extreme levels of bailing out members from their community when they get on the wrong side of the law. They do this as a means to protect their political clout,” he said.
Omanga cautions against this worrying trend. “It is sad to see a leader bail out these criminal offenders. The politicians blindly claim their people are being targeted,” he said.
The officer said police should liaise with his office in tracking down drug peddlers’ hideouts as having dealt with many drug abusers and alcoholics, he knows various dens and hideouts that operate this illegal business.
He believes with the support of the police, they will mutually be able to launch a successful crackdown, arrest the suspects and arraign them in court.
“This is the best way to dismantle the drug syndicate here. In the long run, we will have a sober community, with fewer if any murder cases resulting from drug use,” `Omanga said.
He said domestic violence is on the rise in the county and yet no one is condemning this monster and many cases go unreported while perpetrators walk free in the community.
Omanga said the root cause of this violence is propelled by drug abuse, adding that a lot of women decide to suffer in silence instead of reporting being abused in homesteads by their intoxicated husbands.
He said many don’t report to authorities for fear of breaking their marriages. “These cases don’t end up in courts because parties involved resolve the matter locally through kangaroo courts,” decried Omanga.
Omanga urged all relevant bodies to work together, noting that will see them achieve a long-term goal.
“Bodies like National Authority for the Campaign against Alcohol and Drug abuse (NACADA) and rehabilitation institutions should do many campaigns to spread awareness about drugs and substance abuse. Members of the public should report to the authorities about people involved in drugs even if they are their kinsfolk,” he said.
He asked community policing and the clergy to condemn drug abuse. “They are the closest people that engage with the public at the grass root level,” Omanga said, noting that community policing members know each member of their community.
“If they are committed, they will deal with the problem before it escalates. The clergy should constantly preach morals that can shape the ways of the community,” he said.
Omanga asked the local media to roll out more programs that sensitize the community about the negativity of drug and substance abuse.
“While adverts are crucial for media to make revenues, they should prioritize the health of their audience by promoting more drug awareness commercials,” he said.