Matiang’i urges Judiciary to help in war against killer brews

By Daily Nation

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Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i has accused the Judiciary of frustrating the fight against corruption, illicit brews and drug abuse in the country by issuing court orders barring punitive action against people found committing such offenses.

Speaking during the launch of the country’s second Rapid Response Initiative Crackdown on illicit brews and drugs in Makwa Village in Gatundu North, Kiambu County Tuesday, Dr Matiang’i said that government administrators are grappling with the challenge of being served with endless court orders on anything they take action against.

BE PART OF SOLUTION

“I am asking our friends in the Judiciary to be part of the solution and not part of the problem.

“The culprits in the ongoing fight against illicit brews have now rushed to court arguing that what is being done is unlawful but we are asking, does the law license people to kill? The constitution says many things but it does not say abandon common sense,” said Dr Matiang’i.

The CS was accompanied by Interior PS Karanja Kibicho, Inspector-General of Police Joseph Boinnet, Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu, his deputy James Nyoro, Murang’a Deputy Governor Maina Kamau, Kiambu Woman Rep Gathoni Muchomba, MPs Wanjiku Kibe (Gatundu North), Moses Kuria (Gatundu South) and Patrick Wainaina (Thika).

DESTRUCTION

Dr Matiang’i also led in the destruction of illicit brews, expired alcoholic drinks and an assortment of drugs including heroine that officers from the county have nabbed in the ongoing 100 days crackdown.

He supported Mr Waititu’s dedicated fight against illicit brews and closure of all bars operating in the county and urged governors from 17 counties which he described as amongst the hardest hit by the sale of illicit brews to emulate the Kiambu governor.

At the same time, Dr Matiang’i directed the National Authority for the Campaign Against Drug Abuse (Nacada) to conduct a drunkenness index of all the counties that have failed in the fight and publicly declare the numbers so as to make them unattractive to investors.

MORE BARS THAN SCHOOLS

“Kiambu has 777 primary schools and 369 secondary schools which combined are less than the 3,062 bars in [the] county. This is shocking.

When giving out the new licenses, the governor should work with the Kenya Bureau of Standards, the Kenya Revenue Authority and all other regulatory agencies and reduce the number of bars. It cannot be that we are building bars and not schools,” said Matiang’i.

Governor Waititu vowed to push on with the fight that has created a rift between him and players in the alcohol sector in the county.

He also banned the sale of water drums in all hardware stores in Kiambu, saying they are frustrating the fight as they are used to brew illicit alcohol which then gets repackaged as genuine whiskey for sale in bars.

Dr Kibicho said statistics show that the country has lost over 50,000 young men to illicit brews.

“It is unfortunate that in some counties, collection of revenue through licensing has superseded the protection of the lives of their residents.

The crackdown shall go on since the national government has a cardinal responsibility of ensuring that people consume healthy drinks and that lives do not get lost in such vices,” said Dr Kibicho.