Mathira MP orders bars in Karatina to reopen as war with Gachagua escalates

Mathira MP Eric Wamumbi. [File, Standard]

The fight against illicit brew in Nyeri county has taken a political angle after Mathira MP Eric Wamumbi directed bars closed four months ago to reopen.

During a meeting with bar owners in Karatina town, Wamumbi said he has been on the frontline fighting illicit brew and the bar owners are not selling the poisonous alcohol.

He warned that the town's economy was slowly dying due to prolonged closure of bars.

“The bar owners have legit business and licenses from the county government hence closing them down is unfair,” he said.

Wamumbi noted that in Mukurwe-ini and Kirinyaga bars are operating unlike in Karatina and Mathira.

“I respect the Deputy President but will not allow business people to be harassed under my watch,” he said.

This comes after Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua on Sunday expressed disappointment after bars closed during the crackdown on illicit brews were allowed to reopen by the MP.
But MCAs led by David Kibatha (Iriani), Watson Weru (Karatina), Karithi Wambui (Nominated), Jackson Kabingu (Magutu), Erastus Karanja (Ruguru), Julius Kamiri (Konyu),  and Murithi Ndagita, (Kirimukuyu) differed with the MP, saying that he is undermining the fight against illicit brew.

Speaking at the county assembly the MCAs said Wamumbi has no powers to direct the bars to reopen.

“We remind you that our role in the county assembly is to legislate, we make laws at the county assembly, pass, and oversee the implementation of the same,” they said.

They said they passed the Nyeri County Alcoholic Drink Control Act 2024, to regulate the industry.