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County and national government fight over illicit brew crackdown

By Kamau Maichuhie | Published Thu, March 8th 2018 at 00:00, Updated March 7th 2018 at 21:21 GMT +3
Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu and Kiambu County Assembly officials when he signed into law the Alcoholic and Drinks Control Bill [Kamau Maichuhie, Standard]

The national and county governments are locked in a supremacy battle over the crackdown on illicit drinks in the area.

The row has been amplified by the county's Alcoholic and Drinks Control Bill, which was assented to by Governor Ferdinand Waititu yesterday.

The new law prohibits the police and the provincial administration from participating in the fight against illicit drinks in the county. Instead, county askaris have been charged with enforcing the new law.

Speaking yesterday at the county headquarters in Kiambu town after signing the bill into law, the governor said past attempts by the police and the provincial administration to fight alcohol abuse in the county had failed.

“Chiefs and the police have in the past frustrated the fight against illicit drinks in the area because they are bribed either by the brewers or the sellers. The war on this drinks cannot be won if the provincial administration and the police are in it. That’s why we have left them out,” said Mr Waititu.

Provincial administration

The governor said illicit liquor had killed many residents, adding that it would no longer be business as usual.

“I know the fight will not be easy, but I am equal to the task. I am aware some people will go to court as a result of the new law but I am ready for it,” he said.

The governor announced he had hired a former boss of the National Authority for the Campaign against Drug Abuse, John Mututho, as his adviser to help him win the war against alcohol and drug abuse.

Mututho promised to ensure that illicit liquor menace in the county became thing of the past within one month.

Kiambu County Commissioner Wilson Wanyanga, who was present when Waititu signed the new law, said the war on illegal drinks could not be won by the county government alone.