Inside Politics

MP Eric Wamumbi defies DP Gachagua, orders reopening of bars in Mathira

Monday, July 8th, 2024 20:15 | By
Mathira MP Eric Wamumbi during a meeting with the Mathira bar owners in Karatina. PHOTO/Loise Wambugu
Mathira MP Eric Wamumbi during a meeting with the Mathira bar owners in Karatina. PHOTO/Loise Wambugu

Barely a day after Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua accused senior officers at the Interior Ministry of sabotaging the fight against illicit brews in Mt Kenya, Mathira Member of Parliament Eric Wamumbi has ordered bar operators to reopen their businesses.

Wamumbi stated that bar operators in his constituency are not selling illicit brews and should reopen their premises, which are duly licensed by county governments.

"Bar operators from Mathira will not undergo any further suffering for not doing their legitimate businesses, yet they have operation licenses. Why is it that in other constituencies businesses are going on as usual, but only in Mathira are there closing orders?" Wamumbi posed.

He said bar owners in the constituency are not sellers of poisonous products and therefore should not be punished.

Wamumbi, who was speaking during a meeting with bar owners, said he is opposed to the sale of illicit brews and will work with operators to ensure only legitimate beer is sold.

Wamumbi tells off Gachagua

The legislator told the Deputy President to allow him to do his work as per his mandate, and instead of meddling with the affairs of his constituency, he should travel to other parts of the country and make friends.

"I want to say that in Mathira we only have one MP, and that is me. The Deputy President should do his work and allow me to do mine. He should instead be travelling to various parts of the country making friends and leave Mathira to me," Wamumbi said.

However, in a rejoinder, seven members of the County Assembly of Nyeri from all wards in Mathira accused Wamumbi of acting out of scope since issues of bars and their licensing are a county government mandate.

"Our MP should stop lying to bar owners. In the county, we have an Alcoholic and Beverage Act in place. Once the time comes, they will be vetted, and those approved will be reopened," Kirimukuyu Ward MCA Antony Ndagita said.

Ndagita said that the MP has no business with the reopening of bars, adding that he should know that they were closed by a circular issued by Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki.

The MCAs accused Wamumbi of starting a political war with Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua and being misused by internal forces to discredit him.

"We are aware our MP has neglected his duties and is acting like a gun for hire in the wider scheme of discrediting the DP, and we are not part of this," Ruguru Ward MCA Erastus Karanja stated.

They called on the EACC to probe the issuance of bursaries and the usage of NGCDF funds, saying that most of the money is being diverted to Murang'a County, where his wife is the Woman Representative.

"We are calling upon the EACC to investigate our MP, who has been diverting bursary money to Murang'a, and also the distribution of avocado seedlings in schools where a seedling was going for Ksh 585," he added.

On Sunday, Gachagua accused officials from the Interior Ministry of working in cahoots with the MP to sabotage the fight against the brews through the reopening of bars.

Gachagua cited Wamumbi, whom he mentored, as being part of the group sabotaging efforts to eradicate the brews, adding that there was no directive given to reopen bars.

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