Mandatory detox for Kisii County officials as Governor Arati cracks down on alcohol use


Several Kisii county government employees are debating whether to continue drinking or face the wrath of their boss, Governor Simba Arati.

Arati, unlike the stereotypical politician, does not consume alcohol or smoke.

Several employees who would normally take one or two for the road have found themselves on the wrong side of the new regime.

While launching the Bursary Board and the Climate Change Committee on Tuesday, the Governor took a jab at one of the Committee members, saying he may be drinking excessively.

However, as he went to pick up his appointment letter, the new member said he does not drink alcohol and that it was the nature of red-eyes that betrayed him.

“I am the chairman of the Climate Change Committee; if you do drink, we will meet during meetings. We either choose to work for our people or drink.”

The governor had complained about the excessive drinking of some Kisii residents two weeks ago, saying it was killing youth and breaking up families.

The number of county employees who used to frequent the town’s nightclubs has since decreased. Many people have chosen to drink from their houses.

Many employees are afraid that if they are caught drunk or drinking, they will be considered an enemy of the system.

Impromptu meetings

A senior Administration Department official said he hasn’t had a beer in three months due to the impromptu meetings he has with the governor. “This is not a rumour, but the governor does not entertain employees who consume alcohol. Some of my coworkers have received a dress down for arriving at work drunk or with a noticeable odour of alcohol on their breath.”

According to one of the youths who were close to the governor during the campaigns, Arati used to spend time discouraging members of his campaign from drinking and engaging in immoral behaviour.

“I have some friends who have given up alcohol because of their friendship with the governor. Some see it as a blessing in disguise, while others see it as a punishment because they are suffering from withdrawal symptoms.”

Arati never had time for social places or was seen partying in social places during his two terms as MP for Dagoreti North.

His administration implemented a strict dress code when he took office as governor, with male staff required to wear official attire and female staff prohibited from wearing miniskirts or tight clothes.

Those who attend his meetings at Gusii Stadium are only permitted to do water, whereas those who attend meetings from his Motonto rural home are served tea and chicken.

Dr Robert Monda, his deputy, does not drink alcohol either. He is a Seventh-day Adventist Church-ordained elder.

The two rarely eat at hotels. In most cases, they are served food prepared in their own homes. They rarely serve meals at county functions.