In an effort to counteract the rising tide of alcohol and drug abuse, Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has announced the commencement of a far-reaching campaign in the Mt. Kenya region. Dubbed “Operation Sobriety,” the initiative aims to tackle the illicit production and sale of alcohol and drugs, sending a strong message to security agents that the days of accepting bribes from criminals are over.
At a high-profile meeting in Nyeri, Gachagua assembled an influential group of stakeholders, including Council of Governors Chairperson Anne Waiguru, Nyeri County Boss Mutahi Kahiga, and top politicians from the surrounding areas. Senior government officials such as Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki, Inspector-General of Police Japhet Koome, and National Assembly Majority Leader Kimani Ichung’wa were also in attendance.
Representatives from the Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs), the National Authority for the Campaign Against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (Nacada), and the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) joined the discussion to develop a comprehensive strategy for combating the issue. Gachagua declared that Mt. Kenya would serve as a launching point for broader nationwide action, with the government’s full force behind the campaign starting next week.
Addressing the assembly, Gachagua emphasized the gravity of the situation, describing producers of illicit alcohol as “worse than murderers.” He stressed the need for coordinated efforts from all stakeholders and warned against complacency, insisting that the operation must succeed in order to preserve the nation’s future generations.
Gachagua cited President William Ruto’s full support for the campaign, highlighting his directive for government officials to work collaboratively in eradicating alcoholism and drug addiction across Kenya. In a stern message, Gachagua warned that anyone who stands in the way of the government’s mission will be held accountable.
The Deputy President also acknowledged the need for parental involvement in the fight against drugs and alcohol, urging attendees to consider the impact of these substances on their own children. Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki echoed this sentiment, identifying substance abuse as a major threat to national security, alongside terrorism and livestock rustling.
Kebs Managing Director Bernard Njiraini called for stronger legislation to prevent government officials from meddling in the inspection of alcohol imports and exports at ports and airports. He also detailed the government’s efforts to regulate the production of methanol, which has been linked to numerous deaths and cases of blindness.
In response to the growing crisis, Governor Anne Waiguru proposed the establishment of laws to help local governments control the proliferation of bars and drinking establishments. She emphasized the importance of a unified approach, suggesting legislation that standardizes licensing and enforces strict controls on alcohol sales in towns and restaurants.
As “Operation Sobriety” kicks off in Mt. Kenya, Gachagua’s ambitious campaign could serve as a blueprint for the rest of the nation, demonstrating the power of collective resolve in the face of a daunting challenge.