The government has initiated the reorganization of security teams in Kericho County in a move to tame an alarming rise in the production, sale, and consumption of illicit brews in the area.
Following concerns from wananchi and religious leaders regarding the involvement of some administrators and police in the running and protection of illegitimate businesses, Interior Cabinet Secretary toured the county where he stated that the officers who, either through negligence or obstinacy, have been derelict in the performance of their duties will face disciplinary action.
Weighing in on a statement by Deputy Inspector General (APS), Noor Gabow, the Cabinet Secretary exuded confidence that redeployment of police officers who have served in their respective stations for more than five years will provide fresh impetus to the enforcement of zero-tolerance policy on illicit alcohol.
“Effective tomorrow, we will begin an operation to clean up areas of this county where consumption of illicit alcohol is high,” he said, adding that nothing will stand in the way of the efforts to protect the public against the menace.
Bureti is among the sub-counties most affected, but other culprits are on the radar in Kericho East, Kericho West, Sigowet, Kipkelion West, and Kipkelion East.
The CS also highlighted the impact of the enforcement gaps on illegal and unregulated gaming and gambling, which is stubbornly fueling various social evils in the region.
He added the government’s stance on cleaning up the sector has not changed and called upon Kenyans to support the government’s efforts in this endeavor.
He further directed the Department of Immigration Services to begin a progressive audit of all foreign investors in the county with a view to winnowing out those engaged in illegitimate activities.
He said, “If there are any foreigners who may be engaging in these illegal businesses, we will apprehend them and deport them – because that is what the law says.”
Further, he asked members of the public to shoulder more collective responsibility in the war against such vices, a strategy he said give them an opportunity to address their felt needs, and enable them to report crimes.
He was accompanied by his cabinet colleagues Charles Keter and Betty Maina, Principal Secretary for Vocational Training, Alfred Cheruiyot, and Rift Valley Regional Commissioner, George Natembeya among other government officers.