Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has ordered security agencies to crack down on illicit brew and hard drugs in Rift Valley region effective immediately.
The DP called for concerted effort between security agencies and the leadership of all the 14 counties in the region to fight the menace.
” The way to solve a problem is first to acknowledge that it exists”, he said while commissioning an engagement of leaders and other stakeholders from Rift Valley in Nakuru County on ending illegal brews and drugs abuse.
Statistics by the National Authority for the Campaign Against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (NACADA) shows that the Rift Valley region closely follows the Central region in illicit drugs abuse.
Gachagua warned that the government will not entertain officers who will not deliver on this order, which aims to save the region, as the young generation, which mainly indulges in the illicit and second-generation alcohol, risks being wiped out.
“The situation degenerated because of laxity by the previous administration. They absconded duty. I am asking police officers to do their job. Arrest this people. The war will be determined by the station commanders. The success or failure of it will be determined by station commanders,” noted the DP who ordered that the crackdown commences effective immediately.
Leaders present echoed the sentiments warning that officers protecting unscrupulous dealers will not be spared, adding that only registered dealers will be allowed to operate awaiting re-evaluation of their licenses.
According to the NACADA, alcohol abuse in Rift Valley is a major problem due to high levels of consumption, ease of availability, affordability and accessibility.
The DP called on the leadership of counties to aid the government eradicate the menace by regulating issuance of licenses.
At the same time, the Deputy President also took the opportunity to send a stern warning to leaders who are aiding and abetting the silent resurgence of the outlawed Mungiki criminal gang in the country.
“This criminal gangs being revived by politicians cannot and will not be allowed,” he warned.
He called on all security apparatus in Rift valley region to be on alert and lock out infiltration by the criminal gang into the region.
“Rift Valley is a sensitive place and we must keep those criminals away. You must be rough on these guys within the parameters of the law. ”
The meeting culminated in adoption of a communique, which gives a framework of collaboration between and among the various government agencies in dealing with the menace.
The leadership of the counties have been urged to audit licenses issued to bars and restaurants while the security agencies charged with the responsibility of investigating have been urged to investigate and gather information as the government explores the possibility of having those running the illegal businesses to forfeit their assets.
The DP has also announced a crackdown on all illegal and unregistered distilleries warning security apparatus which will be found to be complacent of dire consequences.
Report by DPCS