Gachagua: I will name and shame governors harbouring illicit brewers

Gachagua in Nyandarua

Deputy President, Rigathi Gachagua during the launch of boda boda riders training programme  at Kenya Methodist University, Nairobi Campus on August 21, 2023. The programme is a collaboration between the institution and Nyandarua County NGAAF office.

Photo credit: Billy Ogada | Nation Media Group

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has issued a stern warning to governors who are not actively involved in eradicating illegal breweries from their regions.

Speaking during the launch of the ‘Boda ofisi yangu’ programme for Nyandarua County at the Kenya Methodist University in Nairobi, Mr Gachagua underscored the urgency of tackling the pervasive problem and issued a stern warning to those who fail to take a proactive stance.

"Some governors have not been cooperative and I will begin to name and shame them. Any governor who hasn't joined the fight against alcoholism will not receive our support in 2027. There is no way I will stand up and campaign for you in 2027 if I know that you have not stood up against the illegal breweries," Gachagua said.

Gachagua, who has been at the forefront of the fight against illegal brewing, emphasised that these illegal activities pose a significant threat to both economic stability and the well-being of the youth.

"Our main supporters are the youth and their continued existence is vital to our political endeavours alongside President Ruto. If they continue to die from alcoholism, who will support us and who will carry out the agricultural and economic development efforts, so those governors who are not willing to help us in this fight against drugs and alcoholism should not expect any support from us," he said.

Gachagua also issued a stern warning against the resurgence of an illegal gang that had previously caused trouble in the region.

He stressed the need for vigilance and unity among the youth to prevent any collaboration between the criminal group and certain political factions.

He revealed that the gang's leader had attempted to forge an alliance with leaders of the Azimio movement, a move that raised concerns about the potential misuse of boda boda riders during periods of protest.

"There is an illegal gang that has been causing trouble in our community. Recently, they tried to come back and their leader collaborated with the Azimio group. They wanted to manipulate the boda boda operators during the protests. We urge the youth to distance themselves from such individuals," he said.

"The impact of this gang's actions on our nation has been severe and we cannot allow ourselves to go through that ordeal again. Within the current government, we are determined to prevent the resurgence of this criminal gang. Their leaders must understand this unequivocal position. They are using the cover of the Azimio movement, but we will not allow them to re-enter the Mount Kenya region or our nation as a whole because of their heinous deeds. The crimes they have committed are beyond imagination and we will not tolerate their presence in our country," he added.

But Gachagua emphasised the importance of the initiative, which aims to provide substantial support to boda boda riders. While boda boda riders have often played a role in campaigns, he says this new initiative aims to raise their status and professionalism.

"Boda boda riders often play a role in campaigns, but this initiative is aimed at providing substantial support to them. While participating in campaigns, it's important to maintain self-respect and not just wear reflective gear. Boda boda riders are an integral part of the economy and serve as its true champions. It's unacceptable to drive a motorbike under the influence of alcohol, so we are committed to eradicating illegal breweries nationwide," he said.

However, he said the boda boda was a critical sub-sector of the country's economy, earning an average of SH1,000 per day.

"The over 1.2 million drivers support up to 6 million people while injecting about KSh365 billion annually into our economy. The sub-sector has also created employment opportunities with the youth being the biggest beneficiaries accounting for 75 per cent of the total riders, you are real warriors of this economy," he said.

During the Madaraka Day celebrations in Embu County, President William Ruto unveiled a new initiative involving electric motorcycles. These motorcycles will work with existing partners involved in the e-mobility project. The use of electric motorcycles will significantly reduce the high daily fuel cost of about Sh800 to about Sh350.