Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has praised Chiefs and other National Government Officers for putting in an impressive fight in eradication of toxic alcohol and substance abuse that risk to destroy a whole generation of youth particularly.
This is even as he warned the administrators over complacency and laxity in the government-ordered crackdown against illicit brews.
Speaking on Saturday on the first day of his two-day development tour in Nyandarua county, the Deputy President said the government declared total war on killer alcohol because the crisis was worsening.
“All poisoned alcohol drinks were dumped in Central region during the administration of the previous regime. They previous administration allowed uncontrolled sale of alcohol and the region was at risk of losing an entire generation because of consuming toxic alcohol,” he said.
The Deputy President also asked county governments to stop uncontrolled issuance of trading licenses to bars owners, and instead enhance vetting of the operators.
During the tour, he visited Kipipiri and Ol Kalou Constituencies where he announced that the government will provide Sh100 million for equipping and expansion of the Kipipiri Technical College and that the Ol Kalou town sewarage system will be reviewed and redesigned.
He said the anti-illicit brews crackdown, which was rolled out in April 2023, was 70 per cent successful.
He was tasked by President William Ruto to lead the operation.
Though he praised chiefs and the National Government Administrators for their dedication in eradication of the illicit and illegal brews, the Deputy President said some of them were condoning the vices in their areas. He asked the officers to put more effort to ensure that the illicit brew and drugs are fully wiped out in the country and the regions that are hardest hit.
“Those condoning the illicit drinks will be fired. Chiefs please work hard or leave the job. Work on the remaining part. The operation is for the sake of saving the next generation,” he said.
Stating that President Ruto was committed to ensure that the menace of the toxic alcoholic brews will be a thing of the past, the Deputy President further made a passionate appeal to the Church to support and participate in the operation, since it is for the good of the community.
“The bar operators selling toxic drinks are known by the administration officers. On eradication, I am doing it for the sake of the community. Let us save the next generation,” said Mr Gachagua.
He further lauded Nyandarua county leaders over their unity and good working relationship between the County Executive and the Legislative arm.
“Thanks to Nyandarua leaders for working together, unlike other counties where leaders are fighting. I urge you to continue with the same spirit. I express my gratitude for the unity and dignifying people of Nyandarua. Thanks for your unity of purpose. Members of County Assembly can oversight governor in dignity and decorum,” said the Deputy President.
He further warned security agencies against evicting traders and persons allegedly occupying public land without consulting the local security committees.
Citing recent attempt by Nakuru Kenya Railways police officers to demolish structures and evict traders in Ol Kalou town allegedly operating adjacent to the railway line, the Deputy President asked government officers to be sensitive about welfare of the public.
“President Ruto and I made a promise that the Kenya Kwanza Administration is a government of common people and hustlers. We pledged that the people alleged to be illegal occupants must not be evicted without being shown alternative lands for settlement. If any of the police formation want to do work in another county, they must report to the local station for briefing. That is the standard operating procedure for National Police Service,” he said.
He added, “If there must be demolition, there must be a discussion and plan of the eviction. We must dignify Kenyan people and be sensitive to Kenyans. You cannot come at night, make people homeless or bring livelihoods to a halt. This Government is sensitive and people-centred. Let us be sensitive on what we do”.
On the issue concerning colonial villages, Mr Gachagua affirmed the Government’s commitment to resolve the long-standing challenge of the settlement by providing tittle deeds to land owners.
The DP was accompanied by Cabinet Secretary for Investment and Trade Rebecca Miano, Nyandarua Governor Kiarie Badilisha, Nairobi Deputy Governor James Muchiri, the host- Kipipiri MP Wanjiku Muhia, Nyandarua County Woman Representative Faith Gitau, Senator John Methu,Kiambu Woman Rep Anne Wa Muratha,and MPs Michael Muchira,(Ol Joro Ok) Onesmus Ngogoyo (Kajiado North), Peter Kihungi, (Kangema) James Gakuya (Embakasi North) among other leaders.
The leaders praised the Deputy President over his development initiatives and leadership.
Governors Badilisha and Irungu announced that the Central Kenya governors have resolved to support the DP as the regional political kingpin.
“As governors in Central Kenya Governors’ forum, bringing together ten counties, we have resolved to stand with you and your initiatives. We are well represented in the national government because of your leadership,” said Governor Irungu.