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Citizen Weekly

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Eyebrows raised as Kabogo buys boats to fight brews in Kiambu rivers

Kiambu county government will soon procure 1o speed boats including four-wheel drive vehicles to fight illicit brews in the county, Dominic Kanyi Gicheru the county   chief officer in charge of public service and administration has revealed.
The move is said to be generating a lot of heat with claims that Governor William Kabogo is out to use the tendering process to enrich his allies and business associates based in Mombasa. It is in Mombasa that speed boats are used by police.
Unconfirmed reports say for months, privately-owned speed boats in Mombasa have been grounded as the government fights drugs. According to local MPs led by Alice Ng’ang’a, Kimani Ichungwa, Esther Gathongo and Francis Waititu, the idea is to re-furbish the boats and sell them at extra cost to the county. They question where the speed boats will operate from when Kiambu has no lake.
Speaking after a day-long anti-illicit liqour campaign in Juja Farm, Gicheru said lack of mobility hampered the war against the menace. He said the canoes and speed boats would be used to crack down brewers of chang’aa along rivers.
He said brewers swam across rivers to Murang’a and Machakos counties using canoes leaving police and county officers helpless. “When these brewers cross the rivers to the other side they taunt our officers and police,” he said at River Athi.
He said his government would also purchase 75 4X4 motor vehicles for its administrators to supplement its war against the brews, general crime and uplift service delivery.
“I have directed Gicheru to ensure the above has been bought forthwith because I want the illegal illicit brew trade dealt a final blow in the county,” said Kabogo. Gicheru who was accompanied by a contingent of APs from Juja and Witeithie camps led by Sgt Jon Warui and chiefs Muchui Muiruri (Komo), Chege Gachibu (Juja), assistant chiefs Sarah Waigwa (Kalimoni), Patricia Wandia (Milimaini), Samuel Waweru (Kiaura) and Pius Mwaura (Kiahuria) said illicit brews had thrown many homes into disarray, increased poverty and school dropout.
“I regret that a survey conducted recently shows that Kiambu population is drastically reducing as women in Kiambu are not siring anymore as their men have become impotent after consuming illicit brews. Our maternities have women from other regions. I recently went to our new Githurai Maternity and could not find a single woman from Kiambu county with a child, expecting or delivering,” said Gicheru.
The chief officer who was flanked by ward administrators Samuel Muthoga (Kalimoni) and James Gichuru (Witeithie/Komo) said since the operation commenced on February 2, they had arrested 500 suspects who were fined Sh1 million, recovered and destroyed thousands of litres of illicit brews, molasses and brewing apparatus.
During the Juja Farm swoop 20 suspects were nabbed, 100 litres of chang’aa, 1200 litres of molasses, 40 litres of kangara, two kilogrammes of amonia chemical were recovered and destroyed. One carton of Hill Top and 11 cartons of African Bee were impounded.
During the raid, primary and secondary school girls were found selling chang’aa thus exposing them to sexual abuse and immorality. Gicheru urged local courts to impose stiff and deterrent sentence and fine on those found brewing, selling and drinking the perilous liquors. “When we take suspects to court, they immediately come out after paying very lenient fines and serving short sentences. We want parliament to legislate stiff penalties to help fight these menace,” said Gicheru.
He said bars and manufacturers flouting Mututho laws will have their licence cancelled and gave mobile No 0731 328541 as the hot line to report illicit dens and the flouting the alcoholic drinks act.