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Crackdown on illicit brews to continue

Interior Cabinet Secretary (CS) Prof Kithure Kindiki has ordered a continuous crackdown on illicit brew in the whole country.

Speaking in Mwea West sub-County, Kirinyaga, Prof Kindiki said the previous Rapid Results Initiative that ran for a stipulated period has not yielded fruits.

“The operation we are commencing will be permanent, no drop on scaling down. It is not a two months’ operation as in the past,” CS said

The CS was meeting the new security leadership of Kirinyaga County to reflect and check the progress report on the incident of illicit brew that has so far claimed 17 lives and others experiencing blurred vision in Kangai area of Mwea West.

“Some members consume drinks with poisonous content resulting in the loss of many people. 17 confirmed death and others who survived horrific incidents facing blurred vision”

Kindiki further sent condolences on behalf of the government to all affected families adding the ministry is taking the incident seriously, with efforts in place to rid alcoholism countrywide.

“This event in Kangai has made it, the consumption of alcohol a more urgent matter than before. The Ministry has identified the sale of alcohol and drugs as a threat to national security. The poisonous alcohol and narcotics drugs are equated to terrorist and banditry,” He noted.

He declared that the operations countrywide will begin immediately directing all counties to convene and map out how they will do it. The CS who introduced the new security team said they would conduct an impartial inquiry of what happened through a multi-agency team to establish if those recalled to Nairobi had a role to play either action or inaction.

“We will not punish innocent officers. We have not done anything so far, we are conducting an inquiry and any officer who contributed will be interdicted and charged”

He confirmed that the seller of the poisonous drink is a notorious offender, who has been in the past taken to court several times but released on lenient terms. Kindiki challenged the new team to swing into action immediately and commence operations to deal with the menace in the county.

“It’s true that certain officials of the judiciary have let the people of Kenya down. We have arrested John Muriithi. We have applied to stay in custody until the investigation is complete. These officers must roll back whatever has gone wrong in Kirinyaga County and ensure no loss of lives going forward,” He added

Addressing national measures on alcoholism, the CS asked the security team to team up with respective county governments to review licenses of all bars, close outlets selling alcohol in the villages, and only licensed proper liquor in centers.

He promised to do frequent impromptu visits in the Mount Kenya region to check on how the operation is going on until the region is alcohol-free.

“The way you see me in Rift Valley, Kilifi, and other regions, I will be a frequent visitor to Kirinyaga and Mount Kenya region until we end this alcohol issue. I will not be announcing when but we shall anytime anywhere”

He concluded by recognizing efforts by officers who are doing a good job saying the ministry will promote them for their service to the country.

By Mutai Kipngetich

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