Crack down on brew dens enters third day

Murang’a County Woman Representative Sabina Chege addressing protesting women who forced her and Governor Mwangi wa Iria to raid some brew dens in Kaharati area. [PHOTO: BONIFACE GIKANDI/STANDARD]

The presidential directive to rid of central region illicit brews entered its third day with leaders leading the onslaught.

Governor Mwangi wa Iria led three MPs in destroying seized second generation alcohol brands yesterday.

During the crack down, the public accused government county administrators and the police of abetting the sale of the brews by receiving bribes and protection fees.

More than 600 brands were seized during the operation that was also supported by religious organisations.

At one point, Governor Wa Iria and Woman Rep Sabina Chege were blocked by women at Kaharati market when they raided three outlets they claimed were sources of the brews in the area.

MPs Titus Ngahu (Kangema), Peter Kamande (Maragua), Irungu Kang'ata (Kiharu) and Jamleck Kamau (Kigumo) supervised operations in their respective constituencies.

Kigumo location chief, Stephen Kihara, became a victim after he was found in possession of second generation brews, which the team discovered in his bedroom.

Mr Kang'ata toured banks of Kayahwe stream after the residents disclosed of chang'aa distilleries, which have been operating with full knowledge of the security officers.

The youth broke into the dens as the women cheered urging the politicians to be regularly leading the onslaught against the illicit brews that have ruined their marriages.

And in Nairobi, three people sustained serious burns after they attacked a lorry transporting methanol to a factory in Kayole.

methanol fire

The lorry caught fire as the men were downloading the methanol. Police said the victims were admitted in serious condition. Four others were treated and discharged.

"They are in hospital with more than 50 per cent burns after their attempts to loot turned tragic and fire broke out," said Kayole OCPD Ali Nuno.

The victims had taken the law into their hands following an order last week to get rid of what authorities termed as second generation brew.

The lorry had been seized by Government officials at a factory that manufactures spirits when the drama broke out.

"The lorry was carrying the methanol seized by Government officers for disposal. A group of youths volunteered to help the officials to offload the chemical.

It was suspected that the youths started drinking the methanol immediately they boarded the lorry and, therefore, could not escape when the fire broke out.

A major operation against the second generation brews is ongoing in parts of Nairobi and Central after President Uhuru Kenyatta directed officers and MPs to raid the brew dens.