Skip to main content
December 19, 2018

Liquor war ‘not sober enough’

Limuru MP Peter Mwathi dances with a young Kikuyu men who attended a Kikuyu elders seminar at Kamirithu polytechnic on Saturday.
Limuru MP Peter Mwathi dances with a young Kikuyu men who attended a Kikuyu elders seminar at Kamirithu polytechnic on Saturday.

A legislator has asked the Kiambu government to rethink its strategy of fighting alcoholism and rehabilitating addicts.

Limuru MP Peter Mwathi praised the concept, which has created jobs for many young people.

But he said the programme is not administered in a way that helps the alcoholics reform completely.

He was speaking at Kamirithu Polytechnic on Saturday during a seminar for young men organised by Kikuyu elders.

Mwathi urged Governor Ferdinand Waititu to consider involving the National Authority for the Campaign Against Alcohol and Drug Abuse so the youths can be counselled.

Mwathi said most of the youths enrolled in the ‘Kaa Sober’ programme spend the Sh400 wage they earn daily on alcohol.

“That is why we have a lot of drunk people, even during the morning The idea was very good. But the way it is being executed indicates a need to change strategy so the beneficiaries do not misuse the money they earn,” the MP said.

He said that as the beneficiaries go for their pay, some bar operators accompany them to recover the money they are owed.

“I am made to understand that the payments are done once a week but the beneficiaries have already accrued debts in local pubs. We are told some cannot reform completely because they drink on credit,” Mwathi added.

The MP was accompanied by elders chairman Michael Muthunga, secretary Michael Kinyanjui and vice chairman Morrison Njenga, who was the master of ceremonies.

Njenga urged the young people to listen to the advice from the elders, parents and teachers on their role in school, at home and in the society. He said this will help them become important and responsible members of the community.

Parent Susan Wanjiru applauded the elders for organising the seminar. She urged the elders to help parents mould the young generation.

Kiambu residents have criticised Waititu’s relentless war on illicit liquor, saying that rehabilitation does not mean handing out cash to drunks and loiterers.

Critics have also complained about the county spending Sh500,000 every week to fuel vehicles of officials going on missions to smash up drinking dens and distilling equipment.

Critics include bar owners, alcohol traders, ‘compromised’ police and chiefs and the public at large.

But Waititu has said he won’t give up until alcoholism is tamed in Kiambu. He said the war on illicit alcohol is unstoppable.

“Those castigating me over the programme should come up with their own projects. This is mine and they should leave it alone,” Waititu said in Thika on June 7. “No political distractions or court cases will stop me from creating jobs for the youth.”

The governor said the youths in the rehabilitation programme would form the Kiambu Youth Service.

Waititu does not include police and chiefs in the crackdowns. He said the two are often bribed to frustrate the war on illicit liquor

Poll of the day