Mother of victims said to be a notorious brewer, always escaping jail because of lenient court fines.
Four children are nursing serious injuries after a clay pot their mother was using to brew illicit liquor burst and splashed the hot drink on them.
The children, aged between three months and six years, were sleeping next to the pot on Wednesday night when it suddenly cracked and spilled its content.
The incident happened at Cheplel village in Ainamoi Constituency.
The four children were taken to Kericho County Hospital before being transferred to Kenyatta National Hospital.
According to Willy Tonui, who handled the four minors at the Kericho hospital, the six-year-old child sustained 44.5 per cent burns, while the five-year-old sustained 38 per cent.
The three-year-old suffered 45 per cent burns while the three-month-old suffered 35 per cent burns,” said Dr Tonui.
The children’s mother, who has been charged brewing chang’aa in the past, described the incident as an accident.
“After scooping the first litres of the alcohol, I placed the pot on the fire for some more, then it cracked open,” she said.
She escaped with minor burns on her right leg.
Only the woman’s first born, an eight-year-old boy, escaped the scalding.
She admitted that she had been brewing chang’aa for the last four years after separating from her husband.
“I don’t have any job, poverty pushed me to brewing chang’aa for sale to fend for my children,” she said.
Four months ago, the woman was arrested and charged with brewing chang’aa, and fined Sh1,000. Kapsoit Ward Rep Paul Chirchir accused local administrators of laxity in the fight against illicit brews.
He further blamed the incident on poverty.
“As leaders, we have been doing our part in trying to reduce poverty,” he said.
Cheplel village used to depend on sugarcane farming, which has since collapsed. The area is now notorious for illicit liquor that is supplied to Kericho town and surrounding areas.
Kericho Deputy County Police Commander Patricia Nasio denied claims that police were complicit in the war against illicit brews and instead called on the Judiciary to slap more punitive fines on brewers.
Mr Nasio said the woman whose children suffered in the Wednesday incident was a notorious chang’aa brewer who got off the hook as a result of lenient court fines.
Kipchebor Ward Rep Erick Bett accused the county alcoholic beverages control board of sleeping on the job in cracking down on outlets selling illicit brews.