Gachagua to preside over anti-alcoholism meeting
Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has convened a leaders’ conference to put forward radical measures to eliminate illicit brews and drugs in the Central region.
Gachagua said President William Ruto had instructed him to organise the meeting bringing together national, county, elected and administration leaders from five counties in the former Central Province among them Kiambu, Murang’a, Nyeri, Nyandarua and Kirinyaga to come up with recommendations to deal with illicit brews and substance use.
The meeting will be held in Nyeri on Friday, April 14, at the County Commissioner’s office, the Deputy President announced.
Speaking on Sunday during a service at PCEA Centre Church in Ngorano, Ruguru Ward, Mathira constituency, in Nyeri, the DP said the political leaders will be joined by security teams from the region, officials from the ministries of Health and Trade, Kenya Revenue Authority, Kenya Bureau of Standards and National Authority for Campaign against Drugs (Nacada).
“The conference will come up with radical proposals on how to deal with the alcohol menace and abuse of drugs in this region. It will have far-reaching implications. The President is concerned and he has asked me to convene the conference,” said the DP.
It was no longer tenable for leaders to look away as alcohol and illicit drugs ravaged the region, the DP affirmed, as he promised thorough measures to rescue the region from destruction.
“We cannot, as the leadership, sit back and watch as an entire generation is being wiped out. We have concluded that this region was targeted for destruction because of its population, its success in business through introduction of illicit brews and drugs,” Gachagua asserted.
The Deputy President said relevant leaders from the region who will miss the conference will have to be answerable to the people.
“It will be unforgivable if we just sit back and watch as an entire generation is being wiped out. Friday will be a defining day for the future of this region,” he added.
The Deputy President is of the view that the illicit brew dealers targeted young people between 12 and 30 with the intention of bringing down a whole community.
He said a former powerful Principal Secretary from the region was behind the influx of the illicit brew while intimidating security officers and their administration counterparts.
The region has already lost young people at the expense of a few greedy people who were using their positions in the previous administration to enrich themselves through sales and distribution of the illicit brews, Gachagua observed.
At the Friday meeting, the DP noted, security officers will be allowed to participate freely. “If we don’t intervene on Friday, in 10 years, the generation will be wiped out. I will take the bull by the horns. I am fearless in such matters. We cannot let 10 people become filthy rich at the expense of our young people,” he said.
His sentiments were echoed by his wife Pastor Dorcas Rigathi, who said she looked forward to the day when the region will be free from alcoholism.
“What will make me happy is to see alcoholism and drug abuse being phased out in the region,” Pastor Dorcas, who has initiated a campaign to rescue the boychild, said.
Gachagua also said he will convene another conference to discuss the coffee sector from all the coffee-growing counties. The three-day conference to be held in Naivasha is expected to come up with recommendations on how to revive the sector.
“We have invited all governors from the coffee-growing region, all senators, MPs, Cabinet Secretaries for Agriculture, Trade and Cooperatives, officials from the Coffee Exchange, Coffee Directorate and farmers to find a long-lasting solution on what ails this sector,” the DP said.
After this, Gachagua revealed, will be the milk and tea sectors where he is also spearheading reforms as tasked by the President.