Kenya jails Tanzanian drug peddler for life By NICHOLAS NGOLYO in Nairobi THE EAST AFRICAN A Tanzanian football coach has been jailed for life in Kenya for trafficking in 182.6 grammes of cocaine. In addition, Nzenga Nurudin Mussa, 45, was fined $27,400 (Sh2,191,200) by senior principal magistrate Grace Nzioka. The court heard that on May 16, 2009 at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA), Nairobi, Mussa trafficked in cocaine worth $9,130 (Sh730,400). The court heard that anti-narcotic officers based at JKIA were profiling passengers disembarking from a Kenya Airways flight when they came across the accused. He was coming from Sao Paulo in Brazil and transited through Dubai. On interrogation, the Tanzanian coach exhibited characteristic of a possible drug courier, prompting the officers to subject him to thorough search on his body and luggage. The officers, the court heard, did not find anything in his luggage. Later they took him to a special toilet where he emitted several pellets of cocaine. The accused had denied committing the offence when he was arraigned before court. But the magistrate said she was satisfied that Mussa committed the offence. Very serious Mrs Nzioka said the prosecution proved the case against the accused. "The offence the accused committed was very serious," the magistrate said. The prosecutor, Chief Inspector Francis Ndiema, told the court that the accused was a first offender. In mitigation, the accused told the court that he had two wives and five children who relied on him. He said one of the children died through a road accident. "One of my wives, who also involved in the accident, has remained with one leg. And one of my children is albino," he said. The accused prayed to be jailed in Tanzania instead of Kenya. "I'm a coach of 10-17 year-old boys who play football in Tanzania. I pray to be jailed in Tanzania." But the magistrate declined to allow his prayers, saying the offence committed was serious. Pay a fine "You committed a very serious offence," the magistrate warned him. Mrs Nzioka said that if proven guilty, drug trafficking offences provided a mandatory life imprisonment and in addition, the offender was fined three times the market value of the drugs found with. "Therefore, the accused is sentenced to life imprisonment and in addition to pay a fine of Sh2,191,200 ($27,400) ," the magistrate said. The accused has been in remand since May 2009 after the prosecution successfully objected to him being released on bail. The police said the accused had no family ties in Kenya and a place of abode. They said that due to seriousness of the penalty, he would be tempted to escape if released on bond. The magistrate, however, gave 14 days of appeal.