, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 3 – Internal Security Minister Professor George Saitoti says the government will not relent on its war against the production and consumption of illicit brew in the country.
Professor Saitoti said the police were under firm instructions to sustain security operations targeting illicit brewing dens in all parts of the country and prosecute those found culpable.
“The war on brewers has been intensified to the grassroots levels, we are going to sustain it all through,” he said and ordered officers in the provincial administration to engage even church leaders to help fight the vice.
Prof Saitoti also put on notice chiefs found drunkard saying they will face the sack “because they are supposed to be good examples to members of the public.”
Speaking at St Lukes Catholic church in Maili- Nne trading centre in Nyandarua North district during a funds-drive on Sunday, the Minister sounded an alarm over what he termed as “alarming levels of alcohol, drug and substance abuse in the country that had a negative impact to the national economy.”
He warned that high consumption of the liquor may soon turn into a national disaster as it affected the most active generation.
The sustained crackdown on illicit brew was launched three weeks ago following the death of twelve people who died moments after consuming alcohol which is believed to have been laced with unknown chemical substances in Shauri Moyo, Nairobi.
Dozens others were blinded during the April 9 incident.
“The government is putting its stand clearly that it will not tolerate the production and consumption of illegal brews and abuse and we fear that this trend has been triggering a negative effect to our economy because most of the people consuming these brews are the young people,” he said.
The Minister said the fight against illicit brews will be used as a benchmark to assess whether Provincial Commissioners, District Commissioners, District Officers and chiefs are living up to their performance contracts.
He added that with the recently launched Rapid Results Initiative (RRI) initiative, this will help curb the rising cases of alcoholism but noted that this can only achieved if all stakeholders took part in the war.
In June 2005, Fifty four people were killed in Machakos and dozens others blinded after they consumed illicit home-made brew suspected to have been laced with a poisonous substance.