Gachagua says security agencies frustrated Waiguru’s effort to fight illicit brews

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua says top national government officials have been recalled to Nairobi over their failure to stop death of 23 people who consumed illicit brew in Kirinyaga.

The DP said the officials include the County Commissioner, Mwea West Deputy Commissioner, County Police Commander among other head of security agencies in the county.

Speaking after commissioning a flour milling plant for Joy Millers Limited at Kutus area of Kirinyaga, Gachagua said the security officer had neglected their duties by failing to stop sale of the illicit alcohol.

He said 23 people had so far died after consuming illicit liquor at California Bar in Kangai area of Mwea West.

DP Gachagua lauded Governor Waiguru’s effort to fight sale of illicit brews in Kirinyaga but however said the effort were being frustrated by police and courts.

Gachagua said instead of security agencies helping the county government in the fight against manufacture and sale of substandard brews and operation of unregistered bars, they were busy collecting bribes.

“Our governor has tried his efforts to fight illicit brews but the efforts were being obstructed by the police and the court. And Governor I want to assure you that we are going to give you officers who will support you in your effort to eliminate illicit brews,” Gachagua said.

He said security agencies were complacent with the activities of California Bar whose owner is accused of manufacturing and selling illicit brew that caused death of more than ten people.

On her part, Waiguru said her efforts to deal with sale of illicit brews in in the county were being frustrated by a cartel of bar owners through court.

Waiguru said for years, a section of bar owners have not paid for liquor license and instead have been paying money to a cartel that has launched endless litigation in court against the County Government.

She said the cartel had obtained court orders that blocked the County Government from inspecting their premises for purposes of licensing and checking on compliance.

Waiguru said she is pained by the death of more than 20 people who had consumed illicit alcohol at a bar in Kangai area of Wea West.

“We are devasted by the death of our people because of people who do not want to comply with the law. I don’t know how to deal with this cartel, they have taken us to court to frustrate our effort to stop sale of illicit brews,” Waiguru said.

The governor some of the bar owners have not paid liquor licenses estimated at about Ksh. 100 million.

She accused the Kirinyaga Bar Owners Association of protecting liquor outlets selling illicit brews at the expense of the lives of the people.

“Am asking you to help us in this fight against illicit brews and bar owners who do not want to comply with regulations,” she added.

Waiguru said her administration will not license liquor outlets that do not comply with necessary provisions of the law.

The COG chair asked the national government to join the county government in fighting illicit brew cartels that were using money to fight efforts to regulate sale of alcohol.

She termed the cartel as powerful but warned that she will not be cowed to stop the fight against illicit liquor and illegal outlets.

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