Four Kirinyaga cops arrested while drinking, defying bar closure directive

Four police officers accused of violating Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru’s directive on closure of bars have been arrested.

The officers were seized on Sunday and locked up at Wang’uru police for questioning.

They were found drinking in a local bar one day after Governor Waiguru ordered bars shut following the death of 17 people after consuming toxic brew at Kangai village.

Acting on a tip-off by a member of the public, detectives raided a bar belonging to a local trader and caught the officers taking their favourite alcoholic drinks in total violation of Ms Waiguru’s directive.

The trader was also apprehended and booked at the same police station.

An administrator who wished not to be named citing sensitivity of the matter said the officers together with the trader will soon be arraigned.

Residents said it was shocking that officers who were supposed to enforce the governor’s directive turned out to be the ones violating it.

On Saturday, Waiguru ordered the immediate closure of all liquor outlets in the county and withdrew all licenses issued to the bars to allow for a fresh vetting.

Speaking during a mass burial service of the 17 illicit brew victims at Kangai Primary School, Waiguru said no alcohol outlet will be allowed to operate in the county until it is vetted and found to be in compliance with liquor licensing regulations.

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua who attended the burial instructed the regional commissioner to ensure that the governor was given necessary support in the fight against illicit brews.

He told the administrator Friendrick Shisia to make sure that Ms Waiguru’s directive was implemented without delay. The illicit brew that killed and left others blinded at Kangai and Kandongu villages is suspected to have been laced with poisonous chemicals.

The Council of Governors (COG) chair further called on all law enforcement agencies to enforce the closure order so as to get rid of illicit brews from towns and villages ravaged by the menace.

She said her administration will tighten regulatory checks on manufacturers, distributors, and sellers of alcoholic beverages to avert more deaths in the future.

“Sale and distribution of illicit brews does not only deny the government requisite and legitimate traders’ revenue, but also poses a serious health risk to our people. Kirinyaga will be the county that will show an example that we will not tolerate the sale of illicit brews and drugs,” she added.​

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