Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua addresses administrators, police and leaders from upper eastern region during a meeting to address illicit brews as well as drug and substance abuse. PHOTO/POOL

By MPC Reporter

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua on Monday kicked off an onslaught against illicit brews and drugs in the Upper Eastern region.

Administrators, security officers and politicians were on the receiving end, as it emerged that they were part of beneficiaries of manufacturers and distributors of illicit alcohol in the region.

The gathering was told how some of the major brewers were pumping big money into political campaigns besides paying protection fee to police bosses and administrators.

“We have told the OCS and OCPDs that they know who are selling drugs. They collect protection money. They must eradicate harmful alcohol and drugs or get out,” said Gachagua.

He said unlike in the past where officers who did not deliver were transferred to other areas, the President William Ruto’s Government will not go that route.

“You will not be transferred if bad alcohol and drugs are found in your area. There will be no transfers to other areas, because that is tantamount to transferring a problem to another area. You will go home,” he told the security officers

Mr Gachagua fired a warning at national government administrators in the region, saying administration officials who fell short of expectations in the fight will also be fired.

In no holds barred speeches in Meru on Sunday and at Kirubia in Chuka on Monday, the Deputy President said the government would not relent in the fight against illicit alcohol and drugs, or entertain county commissioners, deputy county commissioners, chiefs and their assistants sleeping on the job.

Gachagua said he was committed to win the war against harmful alcohol as it was a threat to the development of the communities.

The DP also put police commanders on the spot, saying they knew the manufacturers and distributors of the substances, and they would be held responsible if they do not eradicate them.

Gachagua told the county commissioners and their deputies to be accountable.

He gave the officers 10 days to shape up or ship out in the campaign against brews and bhang.

“You must make a decision today on what you want. It has been agreed at the National Security Council under the chairmanship of the president, that no OCS will go on a transfer for allowing crime, peddling of drugs and illicit alcohol in your area. We want to issue a notice of 10 days then decide who is going and who is staying,” he said.

He added; “It has been agreed that an assistant chief and illicit and bhang cannot coexist in a sub location. The decision is entirely in the hands of the chief and assistant chiefs to decide who is to give way.”

He said the assistant county commissioners, deputy county commissioners and regional commissioners would be made accountable for non performing chiefs in the fight.

“You are accountable for a non performance of the chiefs. So if your chiefs are not performing and you have not sent them home you are the one to go home, because the buck stops with you”.

He said the chiefs knew the brewers and thus should deal with them as the government expects.
He said it was the duty of the county and regional commissioners to get ensure the president’s order to curb the substances is enforced.

He said the DCI, NIS, Police and Customs officials at border points must ensure bhang was not allowed into the country.
“You must do your job. If you cannot let us get a new team to do the job,” he said.

He asked Interior and National Administration CS Prof Kithure Kindiki who was present to crackdown on the culprits.
“The same way you have suppressed the bandits you should also do the same with illicit brews, because the president and I will support you,” he said.

He asked Governors to use part of what he termed ‘sin tax”,the revenue from alcohol and bar licenses in building rehabilitation centres and advocacy.

“All the revenue from alcohol and bars should not go to construct roads. Let it go to advocacy and building rehabilitation centres for those who are beyond help”.


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