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Catholic church in Teso approves fight against illicit brew and substance abuse

The fight against illicit brew and substance abuse being spearheaded by Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has received a major boost in Teso North sub-county after a faith organization joined hands in advocacy against the vice.

Speaking at Chelelemuk Parish Catholic Church in Angurai division, Rev. Fr. Bernard Famba said many youths along the border county have become addicted to illicit brew and drugs due to the porosity of the border and the substance having been legalized in the neighboring country of Uganda.

“The government should not loosen its grip on the fight against illicit brew production and consumption. We have lost the most productive generation as a result of this,” said Fr. Fabwa.

The priest added that criminal activities emanating from gangs have increased as a result of drug abuse in the county.

Illicit brews, according to the team, has contributed to both social and health problems which has contributed to family break-ups and poverty across the country.

His sentiments were echoed by John Busienei noting that religion plays a major role in shaping society and curbing crime in society.

Busienei added that their commitment to join hands in the declaration of war against illicit drugs was major and very timely to save the generation from being wiped out.

“The church plays a crucial role in fighting bad behavior in society,” Busienei, the team’s spokesperson told reporters.

“We condemn in the strongest terms possible cases of unnecessary drunkenness and drug consumption. As a church we will continue standing firm in condemning illicit brew consumption because drug abuse has a huge negative impact on youth and development,” said Busienei.

Busienei who lead members of President William Ruto’s aide Farouk Kibet’s technical team that toured Teso North sub-county on Sunday said uncontrolled drunkenness had led to underdevelopment in some parts and it is time Kenya Kwanza administration eradicated illicit liquor.

The more than 10-member team was led by Charles Sawe (Chairperson), Charles Cheseto (Patron) and John Busienei (Spokesperson).

On Sunday Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua who has been a consistent advocate in the fight against illicit brew was attending a church service in Nairobi and noted that he was ready to sacrifice his political life to save future generations.

“I was not born with the Deputy President seat. I have lived all these years without a seat,” Gachagua said. “If I lose my seat because I am against selling our youths poison, I am ready.”

Busia County faces the biggest hurdle in the fight against illicit brew since their neighbours Uganda have legalized the brew.

“With the porous border points, illicit brew and hard drugs are smuggled in the country with the aid of bodaboda operators and street children at a small fee, “noted Fr. Famba.

The church has set up a computer college at Chelelemuk Parish to equip youths with relevant skills for the job market which aims at reducing the level of criminal activities in the subcounty.

The priest condemned the use of school going children to smuggle chang’aa as they are not suspected easily.

Fr. Famba also condemned rampant school break-ins in Teso North calling on the government to act swiftly and arrest those involved.

“I want to condemn people breaking into our schools and clawing back development. Illicit brew is a disaster. Kenya Is known as a drinking nation and when people drink a lot their productivity declines,” he said.

“Drunkenness has broken many families and we therefore want to join the government and all other churches across the country in reminding our people to stop consuming illicit brews because it does not bring any development to the community and the nation at large.”

Over 25 schools in Teso North have been broken into with over 500 tablets missing as a result of school break-ins for the past 3 years.

By Absalom Namwalo

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