DP Rigathi Gachagua leads Riftvalley leaders in war against illicit brews
Nakuru County Governor H E Susan Kihika has today decried the spread of illicit brews, use of drugs and abuse of substances in the County.
Governor Kihika, who spoke during a consultative meeting on toxic brews, use of drugs and substance abuse at the Nakuru ASK Show Grounds led by Deputy President, H E Rigathi Gachagua, called for a multi-pronged approach to contain the menace that is entrenching poverty, exacerbating insecurity and breaking families.
“To stem this malaise that is morphing into a security threat at both national and county levels, all players including political leaders, the clergy, security agencies and other state agencies must work together. This is a fight that we cannot just wish away because the consequences are lethal,” she said.
Recalling the deaths that have been caused by the consumption of toxic illicit drinks and drug abuse, Governor Kihika warned that illicit brew merchants and peddlers of drugs in the County have devised ways to continue their business away from the prying eyes of police officers and the government administrators. The Governor said 10 people died in Hodihodi area in Bahati constituency in August 2021 and another six died four months later in Jawatho village in Njoro Sub County.
“The merchants of this business in Molo, Njoro, Kuresoi North, Kuresoi South, Bahati and Gilgil have become so enterprising that they conduct their business in toilets and even cemeteries. In Nakuru City, populated areas of Bondeni, Kaptembwa, Murogi, Kivumbini, London, Kwa Rhonda and Kanyon are stomping grounds for illicit brews and use of drugs,” she said.
As she warned the meeting of the far-reaching effects socially, politically, economically and on security, Governor Kihika blamed weak laws and low fines imposed on those found to be behind the menace. Governor Kihika called for the harmonization of laws both at national and county levels to provide for punitive punishment for the culprits.
“It’s evident that weak laws and regulations, and low fines have largely contributed towards this state. We require to come up with strong legislation which provides for punitive consequences to peddlers of drugs and merchants of illicit brews,” she said.
Speaking, Mr Gachagua instructed all government officers in the region to work together to stop their use of drugs and consumption of drugs. The Deputy President warned that action will be taken against government officers working with merchants of illicit brew.
“From today, our officers in this region are going to lead in the fight against illicit brews and the use of drugs. We will not transfer officers who fail in their jobs. We will part with you,” he said. He promised to hold a meeting with County Assembly members to come up with laws to fight the menace.
Interior Security Cabinet Secretary, Prof Githure Kindiki declared the sale of illicit brews and use of drugs as a national emergency and order a crackdown on those behind the menace. “We are convinced that unless we address this problem with a finality, we are going to lose a generation that will take over from us once we are gone,” he said.
Present were Governors Jonathan Bii (Uasin Gishu), Patrick Ole Ntutu (Narok), Benjamin Cheboi (Baringo), Hillary Barchok (Bomet), Erick Mutai (Kericho) Joshua Irungu from Laikipia and Nakuru’s Deputy Governor, David Kones.
Cabinet Secretaries Kipchumba Murkomen ( Transport), Soipan Tuya (Environment), Davis Chirchir (Energy) and Florence Bore (Labour) were also present. Others were Interior Security Principal Secretary, Dr Raymond Omollo, Deputy Inspector General of Police, Mr Douglas Kanja and Rift Valley Regional Commissioner, Mr Abdi Hassan