Mututho urges officers to be fearless in fighting drugs menace

The National Authority for the Campaign against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (NACADA) Chairman, John Mututho has assured security officers that there are enough laws to protect them against suits by drug barons and manufacturers of substandard alcoholic beverages. He said such manufacturers should not intimidate the officers by rushing to obtain court orders and threatening to sue them for damages whenever the officers believe that such manufacturers were breaking the law by having materials for manufacturing unwholesome liquor. Mututho, who spoke in Nyeri on Thursday at a meeting to review the recent crackdown on illicit brews, said the war against alcoholism and substance abuse will be won by suppressing supply and discouraging demand.

He said the security officers must now be even more vigilant in order to detect any new methods illicit brewers may have adopted in order to continue in business following the crackdown. The meeting held at the Green Hills Hotel brought together County Commissioners and Police Commanders from eleven counties in the Mt. Kenya Region and representatives of the Kenya Anti-counterfeit Agency, the Kenya Bureau of Standards, the Anti-Narcotics Agency, Kenya Revenue Authority and the Public Health Department.
Noting that Kenya has 2.65 million people addicted to alcohol and other substances, the Chairman said the number was too high and that kenyans needed to work collectively to bring down the numbers if the country was to prosper. He said security officers will be expected to play a critical role in the fight against the drugs and urged them to make a personal commitment to win it.

Speaking at the meeting, Nyeri County Commissioner, Michael ole Tialal said although the recent crackdown was largely successful, a few challenges need to be addressed.
He added that low penalties meted out by courts when illicit brewers were taken to courts were not deterrent enough and had some of the brewers going back to their business when they paid low fines in courts. He however, said the crackdown has been rewarded by reduced crime, peace in families, a reduction in motorcycle taxi accidents and youth had gone back to work. Mututho also raised an issue with medics who prescribe legal drugs for use as recreation drugs, adding that such medical workers were equally culpable under the law

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