Kirinyaga Mob Outraged by Illicit Alcohol Burns Down Pub

Kirinyaga, February 7, 2024 – A mob of enraged residents in Kirinyaga took matters into their own hands on Tuesday, February 6, setting ablaze a bar they alleged was peddling expired alcohol. This drastic action followed a horrific incident that claimed the lives of six individuals, leaving five others blinded, after consuming alcohol from the said establishment.

Eyewitnesses recounted scenes of anguish and frustration as locals demanded accountability from authorities they accused of negligence. Among their demands was the immediate removal of the local police and area chief, whom they held responsible for failing in their duties to address the illicit alcohol trade plaguing their community.

One distraught resident, who preferred to remain unnamed, expressed profound grief over the loss of three family members due to the consumption of tainted alcohol. “What has angered us is the sale of illicit alcohol. Like me, in my family, we have lost three people,” she lamented, her voice choked with emotion. “I am so sad I can’t even speak, and even when the police come here they are bribed and go away,” she added, echoing sentiments shared by many in the crowd.

Residents voiced their frustrations, citing repeated instances of authorities turning a blind eye to the illicit activities despite being fully aware of them. “It is not the first time they have been here, and even the area chief doesn’t do his role. We are very aggrieved and we should have new police officers and chiefs,” one resident asserted.

In response to the tragic deaths and mounting public outcry, the National Authority for the Campaign Against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (NACADA) announced the launch of investigations to determine the root cause of the fatalities and cases of blindness linked to illicit alcohol consumption in Kirinyaga.

Chief Executive Officer of NACADA, Anthony Omerikwa, issued a statement on February 7, cautioning the public about the escalating incidents of alcohol-related deaths and illnesses. Omerikwa urged individuals to exercise caution and refrain from consuming alcohol of questionable quality. “The Authority continues to work closely with the National Government Administrative Officers (NGAO) and other law enforcement agencies to intensify the crackdown on substandard, illicit, and counterfeit alcohol to safeguard the public from harmful alcohol,” he emphasized.

Furthermore, Omerikwa appealed to County Governments to fulfill their mandate in regulating the licensing of bars, wines, and spirits outlets to ensure compliance with operating standards. “We also appeal to the County Governments to execute their devolved licensing mandate to control the proliferation of bars, wines, and spirits outlets, many of which do not meet the required operating standards,” Omerikwa stated.

As investigations into the tragic incident continue, residents remain on edge, demanding swift action and accountability from authorities to prevent further loss of life due to the scourge of illicit alcohol in their community.


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