Illicit brews weapons of mass destruction

Security officials inspect containers used to store illicit brews during a raid by police in Isiolo

Security officials inspect containers used to store illicit brews during a raid by police in Isiolo market on September 7, 2016. 

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

Kenya is a war zone: As terrorists strike in the north, livestock rustlers attack in the Rift Valley with the rest of the country targeted by some other “warlords”. 

Hard drugs and third-generation alcohol are close to nuclear, radiological, chemical or biological weapons. But lawmakers will touch neither the dealers nor the consumers as the former are their election financiers and the latter malleable voting machines. 

Men of all ages are hooked and won’t have the time or a reason for anything but drinking the concoctions. Loss or sight or death won’t stop the craving; neither can “Black Maria”, as the illicit is not illicit, after all. There is a trade licence on the wall. 

Men have become “as dry as a rock” and it’s a matter of time before a generation is wiped out as those responsible for ensuring safety mortgage our lives. The leaders won’t raise a finger as the wines and spirits kill and maim. 

Agricultural production is at rock bottom, families have broken down, children have dropped out of school and poverty has hit the roof. The clergy have taken a back seat. Local administrators are helpless against the bribe money that sees them allow the illicit liquor to flow. 

But why is it so easy to sell alien drinks than legalise our own muratina, chang’aa, busaa or mnazi? Because the colonialists demonised them as ‘heathen’? 

We must arise and go on a national pouring spree of poisons disguised as alcohol. This is a war; any strategy that provides a winning formula is useful to us. 

Joe Mungai, Washington State USA

* * *

The 2019 National Population and Housing Census report shows that 75 per cent of the 47.6 million people are under 35. 

Amid a poor economy, there is an unemployment crisis with the youth the hardest hit. And they, ignorantly, turn to drugs. 

One way to address the issue is by providing meaningful employment opportunities. That will reduce the availability of drugs in the community. With no idle minds, hence low demand for drugs, reducing supply.

This can be achieved by promoting industries such as manufacturing, tourism and agriculture, which have the potential to create jobs.

Involve the youth in decision-making to largely increase their engagement in anti-narcotic and -alcohol abuse campaigns.

Youth councils and youth-led organisations can provide a platform for young people to vent and give ideas on how to tackle the challenge of drug addiction.

Dismas Kibor, Trans Nzoia

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