'I'M DRINKING MY MONEY'

Kajiado tipplers troop to TZ as bars remain shut

They sing praises of Tanzanian President for allowing them to drink to their fill.

In Summary

• Benjamin Saisi, a resident of Namanga told the Star Thursday that the border is wide open.

• Kenyans and their neighbours cross at will without any checks

Two months of the Ministry of Health ordered closures of bars to contain the coronavirus has left drinkers thirsty. 

Namanga, a bubbly border town has gone quiet but drinkers are sneaking into Tanzania where anything still goes. 

Benjamin Saisi, a resident of Namanga told the Star Thursday that the border is wide open and Kenyans and their neighbours cross at will without any checks.

“We are seeing people coming back to Kenya drunk in the evenings as they sing praises for Tanzanian President John Magufuli because he has allowed bars to operate full-time,” Saisi said. 

Saisi dismissed the government’s assertion that people from the two sides use panya routes to cross to either side. There are simply no controls at the border crossing, he said.

He said civil servants and civilians from the Kenyan side cross into Tanzania to buy food and drink beer as if “all is well”.

Saisi also raised concerns that truck drivers from across the border remain untested for weeks as they mingle and sleep with Kenyans.

Daniel Pariken, another resident, said Namnaga’s no man's land that stretches about 100 metres is open and bars are full of Kenyans drinking beer.

Peter Kores said that he reguarly goes to the other side of the border to drink.  

“I am drinking my money and that government is not even feeding us. We trust Magufuli in this. Nobody is sick here,” Kores, who appeared inebriated, said.

(edited by o. owino)