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Kirinyaga top security officers recalled over killer brew

The Deputy President asked the Judiciary to stop issuing court orders that allow for distribution and sale of illegal and poisonous brews

The Government has recalled Kirinyaga County top security officers after more than ten people succumbed to deadly illicit brew and others went blind in Mwea constituency early this week, Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua said on Friday.

Mr Gachagua said that the County Commissioner, County Police Commander, County Director of Directorate of Criminal Investigations and the County Administration Police Commander have been ordered to return to Nairobi to allow for investigations on who slept on the job. He added that the area chief and assistant chief will be required to also explain why this was not stopped.

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He said this while asking the Judiciary to stop issuing orders barring arrest and prosecution of rogue traders who are taking shortcuts to getting rich in selling illicit brews.

Addressing hundreds of Kirinyaga residents at Kutus on Friday afternoon, the Deputy President said that the government will open an inquiry into the incident to determine culpability of the officials.

“Those culpable will be sacked and prosecuted not transfered. Traders using short cuts to enrich themselves through poisonous alcohol must know their days are numbered. We, however, have no problem with legitimate alcohol,” said Mr Gachagua adding that new security officers will be deployed in Kirinyaga to commence a crackdown on illicit brews immediately.

The Deputy President spoke in the company of over 20 leaders and business persons after commissioning the expanded Joy Millers Ltd processing plant.

He further stated that officers who have failed in their duties will not be moved to new a working station as that amounts to “transferring a problem”.

Deputy President has been leading the war against illicit brews, drug and substance abuse across the country since 2023. He has convened regional multi-stakeholder conferences in Nyeri, Chuka and Nakuru, with more others in the lineup. He has also held targetted meetings with the relevant agencies.

The Deputy President said he will convene another meeting with chiefs and their assistants over laxity in eradicating the menace in Mt Kenya region.

“I will convene another meeting for chiefs and sub-chiefs and issue a last warning over existence of illicit brews. The officers in Central are trying us (President and the deputy). I sat with all County Commissioners, Police Commanders and DCIs, National Intelligence Service, Administration Police Commanders, Officers Commanding police stations and agreed that the illicit brews must be eradicated,” he said.

He added: “Illicit brews are thriving because the officers are busy taking bribes. Had President William Ruto and I not intervened, the entire generation in this region would have been wiped out by poisonous alcohol in ten years.”

The Deputy President asked the Judiciary to stop issuing court orders that allow for distribution and sale of illegal and poisonous brews.

“Chief Justice Martha Koome, how come all traders of illicit brews are getting orders to continue selling the poisonous brews? To the Judges and the Chief Justice, what will you tell Kenyans? Judges should be patriotic and reasonable. How can you apply the law to the detriment of the people,” he remarked.

He noted that the businessman behind the killer brew in Mwea had been arrested several times by security agencies, but secured a relief through court orders; he continued to sell the alcohol.

He further urged police to work hard on the crackdown and shun bribes.

“We are going to increase the salaries of the police by 40pc, but I urge them to give back to society by doing the right thing,” said the Deputy President.

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