Kenya’s Deputy president Rigathi Gachagua has ordered all county administrators in Mount Kenya region to start enforcing a one-bar per town directive he issued a week ago, adding that all entertainment joints must only operate from 5pm to 11pm.
While speaking Thursday at Ihura stadium in Murang’a town, the agitated DP also directed county governments from the region not to renew bar licences when they expire, arguing that they are the reason many Mount Kenya youth are perishing from drug and alcohol abuse.
“All county governments in Mount Kenya region must reduce and revoke licences issued to bars and restaurants because they are the ones destroying the lives of our young generation…It is sad that bars in this region are more than shops. I must tell the truth because the situation in our towns and villages is wanting,” he said.
“Governors have been busy collecting fees to construct roads at the grassroots. But who will use those roads if our people are dying every day?” he wondered.
Statistics show that 7.1% Kenyan men suffer from alcohol use disorder and 2.4% are dependent on the substance. Both these statistics are above the WHO African regional average.
Mr Gachagua has now directed all National Government Administration Officers (NGAO) and the police to begin a crackdown on entertainment joints that have been operating on a 24-hour basis serving alcohol.
“We have directed all administration officers and the police to assist in fighting illicit brews and drugs. I want to categorically state here in Murang’a that we will not accept our children to continue perishing from illicit brew yet there are chiefs, assistant chiefs, count commissioners and the police. I will not tolerate any officer who does not help the fight against drugs and illicit brew,” he added.
He also blamed the government of retired President Uhuru Kenyatta for using the administration officers to popularise Azimio in the region “instead of taming the entertainment sector”.