Gachagua says Interior Ministry is frustrating war on illicit brew, warns Ruto of ‘overzealous officers at Harambee house’

Gachagua says Interior Ministry is frustrating war on illicit brew, warns Ruto of ‘overzealous officers at Harambee house’

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua addresses church congregation in Bomet County on June 30, 2024. Photo: DPCS/ X

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has accused unnamed officers from the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government of thwarting the fight against illicit brew in the Mt Kenya region. 

According to Gachagua, the Interior Ministry has facilitated the re-opening of bars in the region, in an effort to frustrate his mission to end alcoholism in Mt Kenya. 

“I heard that our local MP has directed security officers in Karatina, purportedly on orders from above to re-open bars. An MP cannot instruct security officers, if security officers from this region are taking instructions from an MP, we shall discipline them,” Gachagua told congregants at Kiamariga PEFA Church in Mathira Constituency on Sunday. 

Gachagua stated that President William Ruto tasked him with leading a multi-sectoral group to end illicit brew and the drug abuse menace in Kenya, and among the measures agreed was the closure of illegal bars to tame sale of illicit brew. 

He noted that during a walk in Mathira on Sunday morning, he spotted young men drunk and lying in the trenches, an indication that the alcoholism menace was back. 

“I have never missed a single cabinet sitting, so there is no decision that has been made by the cabinet to stop war against illicit brew,” he said. 

Gachagua went on to accuse the Interior Ministry, which is  led by Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki, of thwarting his efforts to curb alcoholism.

“Anybody stopping that war or undermining it is setting the President and the government against the people. If you people at interior (Ministry) think that you want to interfere with this successful programme so as to undermine the Deputy President, you are effectively undermining President Ruto and his administration,”  Gachagua remarked. 

He warned President Ruto of the officers whose intention is to ‘set him up against the people’. 

“Mr.President, if you allow overzealous officers at Harambee house, with a political scheme, to interfere with this war against illicit brew, those officers will set you up against the people.” 

It is Gachagua’s opinion that the said persons at the Interior Ministry are frustrating his efforts because they think the programme has given him (Gachagua) popularity in Mt Kenya region. 

 “You will be hurting Ruto and his government. The popularity or otherwise of our administration will depend on interference or non-interference with the war against illicit brews,” he added. 

The Deputy President was mandated to fight illicit brew, which claimed lives of tens of people in Mt.Kenya region early this year. 

Among the measures put in place was the closure of the bars in the region to allow for a fresh vetting exercise. 

In Kirinyaga County, which recorded most fatalities from illicit brew, nearly 700 bars had been closed. After a vetting exercise, an unconfirmed number of operators were given a green light. 

Another measure put in place to tame illicit brew was an order stopping public officers from operating bars, and immediate closure of bars neighbouring schools and residential areas. 


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