NAIROBI Kenya, Feb 1 – The government has added the trade in illicit brews and hard drugs to the list of existential threats to the country’s future.
Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki has declared that security agencies will respond to the menace with the same vigor as terrorism and banditry.
“Alcohol laced with chemicals and hard drugs constitute another threat to our nation,” he said,and foregrounded the need to take decisive and urgent measures against the trade.
“Unless we do something, and do it quickly, this country faces a serious generational crisis.”
The CS was addressing a public baraza in Kiambaa, Kiambu County, where he expressed dismay at the sheer greed of brewers and the scrupulous traders gunning for big profits without regard to the apparent dangers and risks of the trade.
CS Kindiki directed Regional and County security teams to launch sustained and ruthless crackdowns against the production, sale, and distribution of illicit liquor, with culprits certain to face justice.
Besides the adverse public health risks, the trade remains one of the mainsprings of social disorder, reduced productivity in the labor market, and insecurity.
“We cannot allow a profit to one brewer to cause losses to the entire nation,” the CS stated, citing the growing population of young people imbibing substandard and unregulated alcohol.
After listening to complaints from the residents of Kawaida area, which they described as the “epicenter of second-generation killer brews”, Kindiki fired a warning to the security teams to square up and deliver on this mission as recently directed by President William Ruto.
He further acknowledged the unpopularity of the war among the profiteers, but relayed the boldness to pay the political price for the sake of the country.
He said: “We know they will try to oppose the operation we are about to launch, but the government is willing to go all the way in this war, and we will win. We will take the political responsibility and we will pay the political price to save the nation.”
Kindiki, who was accompanied by Governor Kimani Wamatangi and area MP Njuguna Kawanjiku, also called for joint enforcement of building regulations, codes and standards to ensure full compliance.
He noted that the recent cases of collapsed structures that have rocked the county bespeak dereliction of duty and lack of collaboration between the relevant agencies and across the two levels of government.
“The government won’t wait until such tragedies occur to react. The Governor and the County Security team to cascade the responsibility of ensuring all ongoing buildings are inspected and are safe for occupation,” Kindiki announced.
On delivery of security and citizen services, the CS divulged plans to build and equip a police station and deploy more police officers to provide a reassuring presence.
He said the regional and county security teams are conducting a needs assessment as a prelude to the deployment of the recently-graduated police officers, an exercise set to begin in March.
Kindiki also commissioned Cianda Division and installed the Assistant County Commissioner for the new administrative unit, which had for long not been operationalized