A new bill is now proposing for the police to have the authority to spy on Kenyans’ telephone communications if they suspect that one is a drug dealer. The drafted bill, sponsored by Kiambaa MP Paul Koinange, seeks to allow the force to also enter premises and install phone tapping devices when required.
For purposes of extracting evidence, a court would allow a police officer above the rank of chief inspector to execute such an operation should the proposed law be enacted.
However, this will require the officers to apply for written consent from the Director of Public Prosecutions before even moving to court.
“The court shall make an order requiring a communications service provider to intercept and retain specified communication of a specified description received or transmitted, or about to be received or transmitted by that service provider,” the Narcotics, Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (Control) (Amendment) Bill, 2020, states.
MP Koinange who is also the chairman of National Assembly’s Security Committee goes on to propose that the courts allow the police to take away phones and any other device that they believe are used to facilitate drug trade.
Any information obtained in an intercepted communication in the country or legally in foreign jurisdictions would then be used as evidence against the accused in court.
The bill comes at a time when narcotics law is being enhanced further to compel people with information on drug dealings to disclose such to a police officer.
As much as many would oppose this, it is important to note that such operations are proposed to be under adequate supervision and have to be compelling enough to receive approval from a court of law. It would be a whole other story if the bill proposed for all this to be done without the need for approval from a court.
So, would you agree for this bill to be turned to law?