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Government officers suspended after death of 10 said to have consumed illicit brew

RIFT VALLEY
By Jael Mboga | August 16th 2021
Rift Valley Regional Commissioner George Natembeya at his office in Nakuru on July 6, 2021. [Kipsang Joseph,Standard]

Several government officers have been interdicted in a move to curb sale of illicit brew in Nakuru.

Rift Valley Regional Commissioner George Natembeya said those interdicted include chiefs, their assistants, deputy county commissioner and subcounty police commander.

The move was informed by the death of 10 people who died after consuming poisoned illicit liquor at Hodi Hodi area in Bahati, Nakuru County.

Natembeya had led police in a crackdown on the alcohol dens.

He said the county police commissioner will take administrative action on officers abetting sale of illicit brew.

The regional commissioner said the government policy is not to transfer underperforming officers, but interdict them, which is the first step before one is fired.

Natembeya said 14 county security committees in Rift Valley have been placed on notice.

He urged county commissioners and their teams to take charge of their areas.

"If lives are lost due to officers' laxity, they will be sent home," he added.

Counties placed on alert for illicit brew sales include Nakuru, Bomet, Kericho, Nandi, Narok, Kajiado, Laikipia, Samburu, Trans Nzoia and Marakwet.

During the joint crackdown by the police and the local administration in Bahati on August 13, officers broke into four rental houses which the residents had singled out as where brewers keep their stock.

However, the search by the officers did not recover the supposed brews, a move that angered the residents who insisted that alcohol was there.

Residents later uncovered a manhole inside which they recovered two 20-litre jerricans of chemicals believed to be used in making the illicit brews leaving the officers speechless.

“This is exactly what happens when we expect the police to search for the brews. They conduct searches in a hurry,” said Samuel Mwangi, an elder.

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