Nairobi — Deputy president Rigathi Gachagua has maintained that he will not succumb to threats in his quest to stamp out drugs and alcohol abuse in the country, particularly the Mt Kenya region.
Speaking Tuesday when he hosted Members of County Assembly (MCAs) from Nyandarua at his Karen residence, Gachagua expressed his readiness to sacrifice his political ambitions to save the younger generation from the scourge of drugs.
He reiterated his commitment to fighting drugs and substance abuse in the country for the sake of the youth whom he says are worst affected by the crises.
“We are not relenting on this war, many people are trying to sell me fear, that these people who drink and the ones who sell are very active politically and my political life can come to an end,” Gachagua said.
“What we are saying is, If by enacting laws to protect the next generation from extinction, If by making sure the law is applied strictly to save the next generation from extinction, if that will bring our political career to an end, so be it.”
Gachagua emphasized that no leader desires to lead a population plagued by alcohol-related issues.
He stressed the importance of leading a prosperous, hardworking community that can take care of themselves and their families.
“No leader worth his salt wants to lead, a drunken population, broken homes, people who are battered, young people sleeping in trenches, staggering in meetings, I don’t think any leader would be interested in leading that kind of population,” he said.
While acknowledging that alcohol abuse is a nationwide concern, Gachagua pointed out that the Central region has been particularly hard-hit by the crisis.
He placed blame on the past government led by former President Uhuru Kenyatta, accusing it of neglecting the issue and allowing the exploitation of the region.
“The previous administration, either by design or by default, had an intention to wipe out our young generation in the mountains,” asserted Gachagua.
He detailed how illicit drinks and poisonous substances flooded the region without intervention, leading to the loss of an entire generation.
“Because all the bad alcohol, all the illicit drinks, all the poisonous substances were taken to the central Kenya region, there were sold during daylight, when Chiefs were there, police were there nobody cared, and we were losing almost an entire generation.”
Commending the Nyandarua County Assembly for being the first to enact the law regulating the production, sale, and consumption of alcohol in the county, Gachagua stated that the county had “chosen life and prosperity.”
He emphasized that this legislative effort is crucial in the ongoing campaign to save a generation at risk of being wiped out by illicit alcohol.
The Deputy President also praised the Nyandarua County Alcoholics Act 2023 as an exciting outcome of engagements with various stakeholders at national and county levels.
He called on other counties working towards similar frameworks to expedite the process and urged nationwide support for initiatives aiming to restore dignity to the youth.
Gachagua also announced that he will be shifting his focus to the Coast province to support the ongoing campaign to tackle the challenge of hard drugs.