Nyandarua County Commissioner Amos Mariba, has called for concerted efforts among security agents and residents, to weed out bhang growing and peddling in the county.
Mariba, while directing security agents to target farmers and transporters of the same, regretted that the county had a lot of bhang growing, yet all that the officers went for were peddlers of a few rolls and smokers.
Speaking during the Mashujaa Day celebrations in Ol Kalou town, the Commissioner said the Aberdare Ranges was well known for being a hideout of the growers, sounding caution to the traders that they will be dealt with mercilessly.
“Let us (security forces) focus on the big peddlers instead of arresting people carrying one roll of bhang.
“There is a lot of bhang being grown in the County and the only way to eradicate it is by going for the farmers and big peddlers some whom are known and live in places like Naivasha,” Mariba said.
Citing a case in which a student attacked his parent recently, Mariba attributed it to bhang use saying, “He was arrested but unfortunately he died in police cells and the matter is now in the hands of IPOA.”
The administrator, who also regretted the increased cases of illicit goods and drinks in the county, urged the public to volunteer information, to enable the officers to stop the trade.
Last week, police in the neighbouring Nyahururu Sub-County of Laikipia County raided a house in Manguo estate and recovered 250 crates of counterfeit drinks.
Mariba said in addition to the illicit cheap brews, the same criminals are also making substandard juices and energy drinks.
“We raided places in Maili Nne and recovered fake soft drinks, brews and vodkas that had fake KRA marks,” he said directing the police to arrest anybody doing alcoholic drinks business without a County license.
He said the illicit brews have been found in Ndundori Gwakiongo and Kipipiri, an indication that the problem is prevalent in most parts of the County.
By Anne Sabuni