Central Region Commissioner Wilson Njega has ordered all security agents in the region to double their efforts in the crackdown on illegal alcohol and drugs.
“The crackdown on alcohol and drugs will properly kick off in Nyandarua on Tuesday when national agencies including KRA, Kebs and the Anti-Counterfeit Agency will be brought on board,” he noted on Friday.
Njega said level one will cover illicit brews and drugs and level two second generation alcoholic drinks that have caused a “serious problem” for residents of Nyandarua and other parts of Central.
“We have a very difficult task ahead of us as we safeguard the health of our people. Chiefs and assistant chiefs definitely know the brewers and sellers,” he said.
“These drinks have led to a lot of problems at the social level and adversely affected the young generation who should be in the workforce.”
He spoke at Catholic Hall, Ol kalou, on Friday afternoon during a security meeting with all administrators, police bosses and intelligence officials from Nyandarua.
Related: Wipe out drugs and illicit brews to save generations, Matiang’i orders police
More on this: Nacada officials harass us during illicit brews crackdown – KIlifi bar owners
Njega noted most of the alcohol is from other regions as only four factories which deal with second generation alcohol are found in Central – one at Ndunyu Njeru in Nyandarua and three in Kiambu.
Most of the alcohol is from Naivasha, Nakuru and Kisumu, he said.
The Commissioner further noted that dealers evade taxes while others defy public health requirements and rules set by the Kenya Bureau of Standards.
“Some brands have been found to contain different volumes of alcohol – above the 40 per cent recommended for spirits. Some have been found to contain volumes as high as 70 per cent.”
“Each brand should have the same volume of alcohol but our tests show some have 40 per cent and others 52 or 60. What does that tell you? It means this is not an original product and the preparation has not been standardised. Some have fake KRA and Kebs stamps,” he said.
Regarding operating hours, Njega said the 5pm to 11pm requirement must be observed strictly.
On punishments for offenders, he said national and county government officials, licensing and enforcement officers and the courts will work together.
He added: “You cannot be fined Sh500 if what you are brewing is likely to cause the deaths of innocent Kenyans. The discussion is ongoing.”
Njega also asked the officers to deal ruthlessly with gangs, whether they are from Central or other regions, and ensure the order against forest logging is strictly enforced.
He cited the outlawed Mungiki sect, whose members he said were active in the region.
“The sect appeared to have hibernated after the previous crackdown but there are now signs of them trying to regroup and get back into action,” he told the meeting. “We cannot allow them [to do so] because it is a proscribed group. It should have no room in our area.”
On conservation, Njega noted deforestation is a big challenge in the region, particularly in the Aberdare catchment area.
“The instruction (moratorium) means nobody should enter any forest. Nobody should transport any forest produce until new guidelines are put in place,” he explained.
He attributed the destruction caused by ongoing rains to the cutting of forests.
Click here for the latest political news