By Job Weru | Updated Saturday, February 20th 2016 at 00:00 GMT +3
NYERI: A meeting convened by elected leaders from 11 counties in central region has agreed on nine resolutions, key of which is a call for issuance of identity cards to 1.2 million youths and voter registration.
The leaders want the youth given identity cards so they can register as voters in readiness for President Uhuru Kenyatta’s re-election bid in the 2017 elections.
“We demand that the national registration bureau immediately puts in place elaborate mechanisms to register the youth. The region has five million people who have not registered as voters and we demand that the IEBC immediately provides extra BVR kits to clear the backlog,” said part of the resolutions read by MCA Anthony Kiragu. The two-day meeting at Outspan Hotel in Nyeri, was attended by MPs, Senators, governors and their deputies, MCAs, church leaders and elder. The leaders discussed various socio-economic, political and development issues with the killer brew menace, which has hit the region more than any other part of the country, taking centre stage.
The two-day meeting at Outspan Hotel in Nyeri, was attended by MPs, Senators, governors and their deputies, MCAs, church leaders and elder. The leaders discussed various socio-economic, political and development issues with the killer brew menace, which has hit the region more than any other part of the country, taking centre stage.
Led by the Central Kenya Parliamentary group and the Mount Kenya Foundation, the leaders pledged to tackle the alcohol problem without fear, and vowed to close down 115 alcohol manufacturing factories in the region. The leaders said they have a list of these factories.
The factories, they claimed, do not comply with the necessary regulations set by the Inter Agency Task Force on Control of Spirits and Combat of Illicit Brews.
The meeting observed that more than 30,000 youths have died in the last three years from alcohol-related ailments. Devolution Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri said it was a shame that Central Kenya is famed for fighting for Kenya’s independence through the Mau Mau, yet its leaders are unable to fight the illicit brew menace.
“It is sad that we participated in the independence war and the second liberation, but our sons are not siring children. We are losing a generation to alcohol,” said Mr Kiunjuri.
The CS said it is worrying that almost every household in central Kenya has a person struggling with alcohol abuse, saying one of his close family member is a victim.
The Central and Nairobi parliamentary caucus chairman Dennis Waweru urged the youth from the region to register as voters in readiness for next year’s General Election.
In resolutions read by Kiragu and Al Haji Mwendia, MCAs from Kiambu and Meru respectively, the leaders asked President Kenyatta to form a special police unit charged with fighting the alcohol menace.
“This unit will help enforce various laws and help take action against rogue players,” said Mukurweini MP Kabando wa Kabando.
The leaders called for vetting of 21 more brewing companies which had met the threshold, saying they should be subjected to standard re-evaluation for every specific product by an independent body.
Nyeri Town MP Esther Murugi and Nyeri Senator Mutahi Kagwe said the resolutions will be implemented immediately. “We came to find a solution to the problem which has turned into a cancer in the region. It is sad that some people are engaging in this business of death which has impoverished many households,” said Waweru, the Dagoretti South MP.