The government has heightened surveillance to crack down on illicit brew dens in Gatundu South Sub county, after the death of five people believed to have consumed harmful liquor over the last two weeks.
Gatundu South Deputy County Commissioner Stanley Kamande said the crackdown will be extended to the neighboring Juja and Ruiru constituencies, believed to be the source of the illicit brews.
Kamande said they have information that the dens have been set deep into the forests, coffee plantations and along fishy riverbank dens, adding that they will not relent until the menace is completely eradicated in the area.
“We shall move wherever the dens are and we will clear them, “he said, warning those running the illegal businesses that the government was on their case.
Kamande was speaking Monday after a consultation forum with local administrators, the police and influential community leaders from Ng’enda ward, President Uhuru Kenyatta’s backyard which is also the most affected by the menace.
He acknowledged that all attempts to crackdown on the illegal substances over the years have been futile, adding that they have now to change tact.
“All local administrators from Kimuyu village will be expected to hold meetings every Sunday to preach the anti-illicit brews gospel. Additionally, elderly Nyumba kumi representatives will have to step down to give way for energetic youths who can help in conducting raids, getting information and wiping out the brews from the area,” he announced.
The five men, aged between 22-40 years succumbed after drinking brews believed to have been laced with industrial chemicals.
Area residents, led by Joe Kigara and Anastacia Wanjiru welcomed the interventions, saying the brews were on the verge of wiping out the future of their youth.
They said they are tired with endless and empty talks of wiping out the brews, fearing that if stringent measures are not put in place, it will turn out to be empty rhetoric.
“Involving the community is a welcome idea as we shall be able to share information with relevant authorities on where the brews are found,” said Kigara.
Nacada central regional manager Amos Warui who had also attended the meeting said engaging the youth in meaningful activities will help curb idleness and stem out drunkenness.
He also rooted for parental guidance, spiritual sensitization among other measures to curb the menace.
“Collaborative efforts will help us win this fight. We need to save the young people we have through mentorship and parental engagement among other measures,” said Warui.
by Muoki Charles