Written by 6:54 pm Politics

Nyeri villages reel under drunkenness – Weekly Citizen

Residents of Githiru and Gatitu trading centres are among other locals in Nyeri county who have complained about the increase of bars and other drinking joints which have led to unbecoming behaviours among youth. It is said that because of getting lost in bhang and illegal brews, the youth were not counted in the just concluded national and population census.
The locals claim that the illegal brews are distilled along Gatitu main road and finally sold at Specker bar, allegedly owned by untouchable businessman where the youth flocked on August 24 and 25 to enjoy drinks.
They said ugly incidents of sodomy and rape of underage pupils of Githiru Primary School were reported to the local Administration Police but no action has been taken so far.
The elders decided to report the rape incident of the minor to Nyeri Children’s Office after learning that no effort was being taken.
They want public meetings convened so that they can raise their complaints in presence of the local leadership, which they look up to in case of wrongdoing to residents. There are more bars in the area than hotels and patrons drink even at odd hours.
Chaka, Mathari, Kihuyo, Kiawara, Nyaaribo and Mweiga trading centres are among others whose bars security team ordered closed early evening on the census day.
Nyeri county commissioner David Kipkemei directed chiefs and their assistants to submit the list of notorious bars. The bar owners were reluctant to close in fear of counting losses in income on the days the census was ongoing.
It is suspected that certain individuals within the administration alerted the bar owners in advance as the security was on the way to apprehend bar owners who had defied the government’s announcement that all bars be closed on the two days the exercise was being carried out. It is alleged that a hired vehicle from Kihuyo to Nyarugumu alerted the bar owners of the impending raid by a team of security officers.
Residents Wambura Gitahi, Wanyiri Kang’eri, Dominic Gicuru, Joseph Kamau, Pauline Gathoni and Alice Muthoni are among those who appealed for stern action to be taken against bar owners who disregard the law, in order to safeguard the youth.
They attribute the bar increase to the director of Nyeri liquor licence board a Mr Karaya who is accused of issuing the operation bar licenses through dubious means, leading to many complaints from the area residents although he was made in charge of Mugunda ward in Kieni West subcounty only recently.
Another liquor licence board member Maina Karwe is accused of colluding with Karaya to have more bars at his Gitegi shopping centre which is contrary to the will of the local residents.
The locals feel only cabinet secretary Fred Matiang’i will save the youth since the same politicians are in favour of their political supporters carrying on the illicit trade.
A source inside the administration has revealed that there have been arguments about the bars increase despite efforts of the coordinator of central region Alfred Wanganagwa, who relies on his junior officers including Nyumba Kumi on the ground to contain the situation

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