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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Another Kenyan Busted for Drugs

When it rains, it pours. Last week brought news of two Kenyan students, Ms Deborah Donde (former MP Joe Donde’s daughter) and Ms Maureen Gathoni arrested in Malaysia for drug-related offences (they are due in court on Friday). Now the Standard reports that another young Kenyan female student has been convicted of drug trafficking in Guangzhou, China and sentenced to life imprisonment. Ms Oliviah Singaniabe Munoko, 26, was convicted on her own guilty plea for trying to sneak 1.896 kg of heroin from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to China. She was lucky to escape with her life considering that the offence carries the death penalty and China leads the world in state sponsored executions.

Considering that Kibaki was in Beijing recently, could this be the reason for what Foreign Affairs Minister Raphael Tuju described as a "lenient but tragic" sentence? Did the President raise the issue with his Chinese hosts? It is also unclear whether the GoK supplied her with legal aid as it is currently doing (according to a Majonzi comment on kipepeo) in the case of Donde and Gathoni. It does not escape me that having a prominent relative in Kenya entitles one to unmitigated public sympathy and also confers the "right" to certain state benefits. Those of poorer stock are mostly abandoned to the fates.

5 comments:

Majonzi said...

Kenyan embassies, with all the number of legal attaches that they have, dont do much for their citizens. Unfortunately, Donde's daughter's case has featured more prominently, not only on regular news media, but also on blogs bcoz she is Donde's daughter. Yes, the government did procure a lawyer for lil Miss Donde. Its not just in Kenya---> all over the world it helps to have influential family and friends :(

Acolyte said...

I think chances are high that Ms Donde will slide but like you said, others are not as lucky. It is amazing how women are duped into being drug mules.

Josh said...

@ Aco... duped??? I think we shouldn't exculpate the said women ... that was a substantial chunk of heroin and i bet the lure of making quick money gets to them ... i hesitate 2 say duped coz it necessarily implies either an intolerable level of naivety or low I.Q, both of which I highly doubt.
It's a high-risk, high-yield gain. You get busted ur ass is done, you make the sale ...

Girl next door said...

I also read that article. The punishment for drug possession is rather harsh. Putting a young person in prison for life? Unless there's a chance of getting out (parole or something), I'd rather have my life end right away. Of course, the girls in Malaysia need all the help they can get. But, Kenyan students who get arrested elsewhere don't even get the time of day or media coverage. It's definitely about connections.

@Josh,
I agree with you: high risk=high return. Harsh circumstances force people to make tough decisions.

Acolyte said...

@ josh
I was talking about Donde's daughter and not the chinese girl because she most def was in it for the money and even said so herself.