Eight officers fired after brew deaths in Bahati sub-county

Tuesday, August 17th, 2021 00:00 |
Hodi Hodi village residents confront Rift Valley Regional Coordinator George Natembeya when he visited Hodi Hodi village in Kabatini, Nakuru county yesterday where 10 people died after consuming illicit brew. Photo/PD/Raphael Munge

The entire Bahati sub-county security committee led by Deputy County Commissioner Geoffrey Mayama has been interdicted over last week’s incident where 10 people died after consuming a methanol-laced brew in the area.

Rift Valley Regional Commissioner George Natembeya said that Kiamaina Assistant County Commissioner Isaac Ooko, OCDP Bernard Wamugunda, OCS Kiungu-ini Solomon Wamae and CIPU area commander Robert Koima had also been interdicted.

Natembeya told the press in his office yesterday that investigations into last Monday’s tragedy showed a laxity in the part of law enforcement unit adding that Kabatini Chief John Thuo and his Thayu counterpart Paul Gikungu suffered a similar fate.

Assistant Chiefs John Mbugua (Kabatini) and Paul Gathathai (Thayu sub-location) have also been sent home. Natembeya said that their replacements had been identified and assured locals that service delivery will not be interrupted.

“We have done our investigations and found our security team in Nakuru North is culpable,” Natembeya said, adding: “Our officers must know that they are paid to work and when such things happen, they must take responsibility.”

“Interdiction is first step because everybody has a right to be heard,” he said adding that due process will be followed to ensure that the affected officers get opportunity to defend themselves.

Natembeya warned all officers stationed in all the 14 counties in the region to give  the war on illicit brews  the seriousness it deserves.

“County security committees are on notice from today… They must take charge of their areas and if any death as a result of illicit brew is reported in your area, you’ll just go home because some are sitting in their offices like they are on holiday,” he said.

“We have decided that we will no longer be transferring officers (rogue) from one area to another because that’s like transferring a problem from one corner to another,” he said.

Noting that consumption of illicit brews had increasing tenfold since the advent of the coronavirus pandemic, he said almost all the counties in the region were affected by the illicit brews.

Topping the list of shame, he said, is Nakuru county followed by Bomet, Kericho, Nandi, Narok, Kajiado, Laikipia, Samburu, Trans Nzoia and Marakwet.

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