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Linking Raila with alcoholism plain idiocy

COMMENTARY
By Edward Mahanda Indakwa | July 24th 2015

Kenyan politicians are no different from the reckless truant who aims at a bird and gets shocked when the stone hits the village elder.

The on-going crackdown on illicit brews is thus becoming a mindless and dangerous political contest. Propaganda sweeping across Central Kenya has it that ‘their’ alcoholism is instigated by people from other regions to finish the Kikuyu (politically).

The thinking is that the origin of industrial alcohol, which is used to manufacture illicit and toxic brews, originates from the sugar growing areas of Western and Nyanza. One needs not be a genius to tell that this is a veiled attack against Cord leader Raila Odinga, whose family runs the Kisumu molasses factory.

Sadly, this view, which is propagated by politicians who should know better, is gaining wide acceptance among the rural folk of Central Kenya.

Yet, the facts are starkly different. To begin with, the sugar industry in Western Kenya and Nyanza is on its knees, a fate it shares with Raila’s molasses plant. Second, there is not, to the best of our knowledge, a businessman from these two regions who is involved in the manufacture or distribution of illicit brews in Central Kenya.

The reality is that the people of Central Kenya require a moment for deep introspection to re-examine their sense of community. Ruthless capitalism has created an environment where anything goes, to the extent that sons of the village feel no shame in brewing intoxicants that kill and turn their own kin into zombies. Ignoring this and blaming Raila is reckless and infantile.

But apart from fanning ethnic hatred, it also destroys a golden opportunity for national discourse on the crisis of parenting, failure of rural agriculture, the consequences of national economy not at pace with population growth and what this portends for the youth and future of this country.

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