A visibly enraged and sad spouse of the Deputy President, Pastor Dorcas Rigathi, visited families who lost family members in Kirinyaga following the consumption of alcohol.
As a mother, and campaigner against alcohol, drug and substance abuse, Pastor Dorcas took the trip to console the bereaved families. She termed income gained from such killer businesses like the California bar ‘blood money’.
“You go to the bar counter, and buy death, and also buy tears for your entire family. As a Pastor, I am tired of burying our children and husbands from deaths caused by alcohol,” said Pastor Dorcas.
She expressed her pain, watching the news, and following the reports of the rising number of deaths of those dead (23) and others going blind (5), and tens hospitalized.
“Tell your children, women, and men to stop taking this alcohol. It is wrong for people to line their pockets with blood money. Parents burying their children is very wrong. Even women of 60 years and above dying from alcohol is very wrong,” said Pastor Dorcas.
The killer bar, California is tucked away between maize and banana farms at Kangai Ward. The bar was turned to a shell by angry residents who burnt it a few days ago following the deaths, and blindness to locals.
“How would we keep quiet as our children die like animals? We take our own money, and go buy death. This is sad for our nation, and especially in mount kenya region. For 23 to die and 5 to lose their sight, and this number has climbed over the days is sad,” said Pastor Dorcas.
The community was angry that the owner of the killer bar had been arrested 16 times in the past, but still managed to evade the justice system and continue with the business.
Pain as told by family members
Peter Waweru lost his 40 year old son and decried the high number of bars in the area, saying, “Young people are the most affected leaving us with a huge gap in the community.”
Leah Waruingi was in pain expressing how she four family members to the killer brew; Stella Muthoni (mother), Wachira Gitari (Cousin), Alice Wanjiru (Sister in Law), and Wanguthii Kaguru (aunt).
“This bar is located within where people live. We are mourning as a village, and as a family. The burden of emotional burden of burying four people is too much to bear.,” said Ms Waruingi.
Peter Mwai lost his father to the killer brew, Willie Githai. He asked pertinent questions to the county government and national administration. “Who licensed this bar, right inside the farms where people live? This man should face the full force of the law. He has evaded justice one time too many, 16 times.”
He alleged that the owner of the bar even brings a lorry into the night and distributes the alcohol.
Bonface Muthii also lost his mother, Margaret Wanjira. “California bar manufactures the alcohol. It is painful that he has killed our people, and my mother also died,” he said.
Prayers offered against the killer businesses
Different church leaders that included evangelists, pastors, and bishops prayed for the families, the community and nation against the alcohol, drug menace, and also those operating the illicit businesses.
Bishop Dr. Mophat Kilioba said, “We came to pray for you so God may strengthen you. We have lost fathers and strong young men who would have helped build this nation, and now we are in tears.”
Others present were Kirinyaga Deputy Governor David Githanda, Members of the County Assembly (MCAs) Assistant County Commissioner Sarah Kurgat, Evangelist Lucy Wangunjiri, Rev Kabaiya, Bishop Paul Wanjohi, Bishop Michael Karanja, Bishop Matthew Monde, Bishop Samuel Karimi, Bishop Mary Wanderi, Bishop Michuki, Bishop Samuel Karimi, Bishop Dickson Njoroge, and Apostle Gitundu among others.
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