From: joachim omolo ouko
News Dispatch with Father Omolo Beste
THURSDAY, MAY 8, 2014
Maurine from Sagana, Kenya writes: “Fr Beste thank you for your moving article on illicit brews that continue to kill many Kenyans. Now I am just wondering, do you think the move by Embu County Commissioner Amos Gathecha to fire Embu Municipality Chief Titus Mugambi and his assistant Catherine Wanja during a visit to Shauri Yako slums where the illicit brew was being sold is going to solve the problem of illicit brews in Kenya?”
Thank you for this important question Maurine. The problem with illicit brews is not with the chiefs, so firing them won’t help anything. Early this Kirinyaga county government set aside Sh1.5 million to combat the consumption of illicit brews in the area, since then nothing has improved.
County Commissioner Joseph Keter said the security team would spend the money to map out illicit brew dens and crackdown on brewers and consumers. He declared a major operation to weed out illicit brewing and consumption dens which he said had retarded development in the county.
He said the operation would be intensive and thorough. The operation was to target more than 300 brewers who he described as “notorious” in brewing and selling illicit alcohol in the area. He said illicit brews are selling like hot cake in the area because sellers collude with chiefs and their assistants.
There are several reasons why Kenyans drink illicit and deadly brews. The major one is to do with grave dangers of unemployment in the country, leading to higher poverty levels. Some Kenyans desperately look for cheap source of livelihood including brewing and consumption of the deadly liquor.
Economic conditions and the increasing sense of hopelessness is making people take recourse to cheap brews. Sellers of brews take opportunity of this condition to make money and they can do whatever they can to make their business go on. That is why they are able to bribe government agency that looks after the food and drink beverages.
The story by Meja Mwangi, Kill Me Quick gives an overview how unemployment in Kenya is a crisis. The story depicts two young boys who move to the city after obtaining their secondary school diplomas. They hope to find jobs in order to support their families back home.
Initially unsuccessful, the pair live in dumpsters, eating rotten fruit and stale cakes, unable to return home as failures. Eventually, they obtain jobs at a farm working for a very rich family. Mania causes problems in the house while blaming Meja, who suffers the consequences.
Meja is put on half rations, moved from job to job, and then has his rations almost completely revoked. After Mania’s biggest episode, the pair loses their jobs. Mania and Meja split after Mania steals from a store and gets Meja in trouble.
Meja flees home only to return to the city and work in a coal mine. Mania joins a gang in “shanty land,” lead by a boy named Razor who claims they went to school together. Here, Mania attempts to run a scheme selling milk to clients in the area, which he has stolen from the rich neighborhood. Eventually, he is caught. The pair meets up again in prison, but soon go their separate ways. Meja continues to go in and out of prison, and Mania ends up on trial for murder.
Women are depicted as objects for sexual pleasure, or as Nici Nelson puts it, only there as “screws for the main characters. This is because of unemployment and poverty. Sara, Razor’s girlfriend, is there for the sole purpose of allowing him to obtain pleasure in front of his gang. Mania’s girlfriend Dehliah is mentioned briefly, and she works as a “barmaid,” also known as a prostitute.
Against the background that Kitengela town is reeling from the shock of a man alleged to have been teaching children to perform various sexual acts for pornography industries. He teaches children sexual acts, including oral and anal sex for little pay, which I believe they take home to their parents for their survivals.
That is also why, even after the Teachers’ Service Commission dismissed 600 teachers over allegations of sexual abuse in our primary and secondary schools, pupils still engage in sex, getting pregnant every term.
In Nyanza where poverty is said to be a major problem, cases of sexual abuse have been on the rise, with 15 cases been reported in Migori, Rongo, Rachuonyo, Kuria and Nyatike districts. These areas due to poverty men target pupils for sex, luring them with as little as Ksh 20 to buy mandazi (pan cake). These children are hungry.
Fr Joachim Omolo Ouko, AJ
Tel +254 7350 14559/+254 722 623 578