Murang'a security boss orders crackdown on Kigumo gambling dens

Gambling machine

Some of the 25 betting machines that were confiscated on Wednesday morning as crackdown on gambling dens kicked off in Kigumo Sub County.

Photo credit: Mwangi Muiruri | Nation Media Group

Murang'a County Commissioner Karuku Ngumo has ordered all gambling dens in Kigumo sub-county closed down to protect area children.

He explained that he had received complaints from residents that schoolchildren on holiday were stealing money from their parents to gamble.

And when they hit jackpots, they proceed to experiment with drugs and alcohol, he said.

"[All] gambling dens will be closed and their proprietors arrested. I have also ordered all administrators to furnish me with answers on where they were when those dens were being founded … and escaping law enforcement," he said.

Mr Ngumo added that the law is clear on gambling and there is no excuse for security officers not to enforce it.

"It is even more serious when dereliction of duty subjects our children to negative influence. That is not something this government condones …,” he said.

Illicit brews

Residents had been complaining about gambling "illicit brews and bars operating with impunity, but we have been seeing lacklustre responses from our police officers and administrators", said Kigumo Parents Association chair Mercy Kimani.

She cited gambling, drug abuse and early exposure to sexual activity as some of the catalysts of rising school dropout rates.

The most affected areas are the lowlands of Kigumo sub-county, she claimed.

"A government that for love of bribes exposes our children to risky lifestyles can only be destroying the future of our country. We would love to hear from our officers whether they would subject their own children to gambling, drug abuse and illicit sex," she said.

On Monday, Murang'a Deputy Governor Stephen Munania lamented that gambling and alcoholism had become a crisis that required immediate action.

"The county government knows and is concerned. We will partner with the national government that is in charge of security functions to address this menace," he said.

Mr Ngumo promised action. "I encourage all with information aimed at making our society safer and progressive to feel free and share it with us,” he said.

“Pass it through our toll-free number 988 that does not reveal your identity. Report those officers abetting lawlessness and you will see us act."

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