NYAHURURU, Kenya, Sep 20 – A sombre mood engulfed Nyahururu and Ol-Kalou towns as 19 victims who died after consuming lethal brew last week were laid to rest.
Business in the two towns came to a standstill when the coffins bearing the remains of the victims were driven around the town.
Ten victims were laid to rest at Nyahururu Municipal cemetery while seven were laid to rest at Githunguri in Ol-Kalou. Two others were buried at Gikingi within Ol-Kalou constituency.
Tears flowed freely at Nyahururu district hospital mortuary where thousands of residents had gone to view the remains of the victims who died last week after consuming alcohol which contained high levels of methanol.
Politicians from the region who attended the ceremonies blamed the government the deaths by failing to fully implement the Alcohol Control Act popularly known as the Mututho law.
MPs who attended the burial ceremonies included Mwangi Kiunjuri (Laikipia East), Jeremiah Kioni (Ndaragwa), Erastus Mureithi (Ol-Kalou) and their Kinangop counterpart David Ngugi who all vowed to call for mass action if the government fails to wipe out unlicensed liquor in Mt Kenya region in the next two weeks.
Kiunjuri vowed to mobilise residents from Mt Kenya region to hold demonstrations to pressure the government to apprehend those believed to be brewing the deadly alcoholic drinks.
Kiunjuri called on the government to take its responsibility as required by the Constitution.
He said it was the duty of the government to make sure that its citizens were safe.
Kiunjuri who is an assistant minister for Public Works accused the provincial administration of acting only when a disaster had struck and the police of failing to prosecute those arrested.
On their part, Kioni, Mureithi and Ngugi called for the resignation of Internal Security Minister George Saitoti accusing him of failing to discharge his duties properly.
Kioni said that the minister should take the political responsibility and resign for failing to enforce the alcohol regulations contained in Mututho law.
He regretted that more people were still dying of the lethal brews even before the rest were buried.
He said all leaders must wake up and lead Kenyans in eradicating the distribution and sale of the killer brews in the region.
He read a political motive behind the deaths which he said were linked into 2012 politics.
Mureithi who spoke at the burial of five of the victims blamed the police and provincial administration for failing to discharge their duties effectively and instead letting those behind the brewing syndicate to go scot-free.
He regretted that to date, a factory believed to be brewing the drinks has not been closed down despite the government knowing of its existence.
Ngugi who accompanied the MP echoed the sentiments saying “enough is enough” and it was time that leaders push for the eradication of the lethal brews.
He said Kenyans were empowered by the new Constitution to take action where the government has failed.