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Kirinyaga MP Njeri Maina praises locals who torched deadly drinking den

Kirinyaga Woman Representative Njeri Maina has commended Kangai village residents following the move to set fire to a drinking den that claimed the lives of 13 people and left five others blind.

The politician stressed that while the method chosen by the irate villagers to solve the problem many not have been ideal, the residents felt justified in taking matters into their own hands when the legal system had failed them.

“I commend the Kangai community, not for burning down the bar where illicit alcohol was being sold, but for taking a proactive stance against the problem. Their action, though drastic, reflects the desperation caused by systemic failures,” said Njeri.

The MP vowed to stand by the locals in their fight against the production and sale of poisonous alcohol.

She also called on Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki to investigate and bring to book any local administrators or law enforcement officers found to be complicit in protecting illegal brewers in return for bribes.

She further pointed a finger of blame at the Kirinyaga County government, particularly Governor Anne Waiguru, whom she accused of failing to adequately inspect and regulate liquor outlets.

“I urge Governor Waiguru and the County Liquor Licensing Board to conduct thorough assessments of bar owners and immediately revoke licences where regulations are not met. It’s unacceptable that bars are proliferating near sensitive areas such as schools and residential areas,” she said, urging swift regulatory action.

Confirming the tragic deaths and hospital admissions, Kirinyaga County Chief Officer for Health, George Karoki, suspected the presence of ethanol in the illicit brew consumed by the victims, leading to symptoms such as blurred vision.

“They had consumed an illicit brew and we suspect that it must have contained ethanol because the type of signs and symptoms exhibited by the patients showed that they had blurred vision,” said Karoki.

In protest at the devastating effects of alcoholism in their community, angry residents took matters into their own hands, raiding the pub and setting it ablaze.

They accused the local police of negligence and corruption in their dealings with the brewers.

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