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Gathoni Wa Muchomba questions government’s approach to tackling alcoholism in Central Kenya

By Elizabeth Ngigi September 12th, 2023 2 min read

Githunguri lawmaker Gathoni Wa Muchomba has criticized the government’s efforts in addressing the issue of alcoholism in Central Kenya.

The outspoken politician in an interview on Gukena FM, expressed her discontent with the government’s approach to combating illicit brewing in the area.

Gathoni Wa Muchomba pointed out what she sees as a fundamental flaw in the government’s strategy to combat alcoholism in Central Kenya.

She argued that real progress in addressing the issue would only be made when individuals who have been direct victims of alcoholism, having seen it devastate their own lives and families, are actively involved in the fight against this menace.

The legislator shared a deeply personal experience from her own family, recounting the tragic loss of her younger brother, Stephen Kinyua Muchomba, at the age of 37 in 2015 due to alcoholism.

“I am so bitter about alcoholism, and that is why I don’t give it a chance by any means. My dad was an alcoholic, and it turned him into a mere shadow of himself. He could no longer comprehend what grade I was in. I would meet him in the morning with a hangover, and he would ask about my school grades. He had no idea what I was eating or even which school I attended. The pain of losing my brother to alcoholism drives me to fight against it,” said Gathoni Wa Muchomba.

Expressing her skepticism about the effectiveness of government-led interventions, she added:

“When the government decides to bring in a stranger to address the issue, someone who hasn’t felt the pain of what you’ve felt, they may not truly understand how to help you.”

Gathoni, who has been at the forefront of the battle against irresponsible drinking in the region, called on the government to take decisive action, expressing concern that the youth would continue to suffer from alcoholism until appropriate measures were put in place.

“Our biggest challenge is the government itself. Alcoholism will persist until the government decides it shouldn’t. How does this ethanol enter Kenya? Who monitors what is being transported? To be frank, when the government starts addressing the issue at its source rather than just focusing on vendors, we will make real progress.”

The lawmaker stressed the need for a comprehensive approach that goes beyond holding meetings, as she expressed her concern over the safety of local Chiefs who often face violence during curfew enforcement.

Deputy Presidenyt Rigathi Gachagua and his wife pastor Dorcas has been at the forefront of leading the fight against alcoholism in the region.

The DP has consistently called for the closure of entertainment joints during working hours, while the second lady has been leading efforts to rehabilitate drunkards.

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