Machakos Women Representative Joyce Kasimbi Kamene is urging the government to intensify efforts in the war against alcoholism and substance abuse in the area.
The lawmaker said the number of youths taking to alcoholism and drugs in the area is worrying and portends a serious challenge to the fight against poverty and crime in the county.
Kamene who was addressing women leaders drawn from Mwala Sub County at the Mbiuni trading centre said every effort must be taken in salvaging the future of young people from the effects of prevailing moral decadence.
“We don’t need to have a society of people living under the influence of alcohol, nor under the influence of bhang but people with sound minds. We need a society of normal people,” she told the women leaders.
She however faulted parents for absconding their sacred obligation of giving guidance to their children and attributed the current moral decadence to failure by guardians to inculcate values on the youths.
The leader challenged parents to be setting aside quality time where they can give guidance to their children in order to salvage them from the ravages of alcoholism and drug abuse.
On his part, Mwala Deputy County Commissioner Aphaxard Gitonga who was present reiterated the government’s directive to continue cracking down on unlicensed bars and illegal gambling joints operating in the sub county.
The administrator said the government would not relent in the war against the businesses until they are cleared from the area.
He said gambling joints were becoming a social problem in the country and the government would not spare anybody bent on promoting them.
“We are not going to relent in the war against unlicensed bars and those found running gambling dens. Similarly, those found operating drinking joints during proscribed hours will not only be arrested but also have their licenses revoked altogether,” said the administrator.
Gambling machines have become a social eyesore in Machakos with administrators arresting dozens of operators and destroying hundreds of the gadgets since the government announced an all out war on the trade.
Last year former Machakos County Commissioner Abdulahi Galgalo Hiddi gave Chiefs and their assistants a one-week ultimatum to either eradicate gambling machines within their area of jurisdiction or lose their jobs.
Addressing more than 300 chiefs and their assistants during a leaders’ forum in Machakos town in September 2018, Hiddi warned the officers to ensure all gambling machines within their localities were confiscated and their premises closed down.
The senior administrator said it was quite disheartening to see youths spending hours in lottery joints instead of engaging in meaningful work that could add value to their life while the chiefs looked the other way.
Hiddi even took a swipe at one of the chief from Mua location who was said to be running a betting machine in his backyard and ordered him to close down the business within 24 hours before the law caught up with him.
“I have information that one of our officers is actually operating a gambling machine in his area of jurisdiction. I am therefore warning him to immediately close down the illegal business before I personally come for him,” he ordered at the time.
By Samuel Maina
DSC-7824-Machakos Woman Representative Woman Representative Joyce Kamene Kasimbi while addressing members of the Universal Traders Sacco during an Education Day organized by the lending institution at the Machakos Golf course grounds on September 17 2019.She has called for an all out war against alcoholism and drug abuse among the youths.(Photo KNA)