NAIROBI, Kenya, May 9 – The Union of Kenya Civil Servants says Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph ole Lenku should be the one to quit over 80 deaths caused by toxic liquor, instead of sacking his juniors.
Addressing a press conference on Friday, Secretary General Tom Odege further described Lenku’s actions as unnecessary and has vowed to take him to court if he fails to rescind his decision by Monday.
He pointed out that the brew had Kenya Bureau of Standards quality marks and termed Lenku’s action as misuse of power targeting people who are innocently serving the nation.
“I want to term the action by the CS as a man using a hammer to kill a fly and we are not going to tolerate it as a union. If we have people who have to take responsibility about the loss of lives, we expected Lenku to be the first one. The brew we are talking about had a mark from KEBS and we do not expect a chief to arrest people selling a brew with the mark of quality,” he said.
“If it was something like changaa, we would have reconsidered our stand but you cannot target a public servant because of a drink taken in a bar,” he stated.
He indicated that rather than take such drastic action, investigations should be conducted and action be taken on those found to be culpable.
“If you target a deputy commissioner, how about the commissioner, if you target an OCPD how about the Inspector General, if you come up to the commissioner level, how about the CS who is in charge here? You cannot sit in an ivory tower and target people on the ground. Let us investigate how this alcohol entered into our counties so that we can target the right people after doing investigations but not reacting to a situation,” he stated.
He outlined other instances where many people have died but no action has been taken against any government official and stated that the latest action was unfair.
“We have seen terrible deaths in our country including the terror attacks for example at Westgate. Who was sacked? Nobody! Why now sack people who are innocent. If they are targeting specific people for replacement, the procedure is clear, let them follow the law but by sacking people including chiefs because of this brew, that is wrong. If Lenku is determined to stick to his actions, let him rest assured, we will know who is who in this country,” he said.
“As a union we are very sympathetic to the families who lost their loved ones through the brew which was poisonous and killed innocent Kenyans. But we want to take our stand as a union against the directive by ole Lenku who ordered their sacking.”
The Chief Executive Officers of NACADA and the Anti Counterfeit Agency, were among 52 government officials interdicted on Thursday over the killer brew.
The rest were provincial administrators, police officers and national intelligence service officials in the affected areas who are accused of having failed in their duty.
Lenku stated that police were finalizing investigations into the manufacture, sale and distribution of the killer brew, before taking suspects to court, to face serious charges.