Local brewers who had been operating in Lwanda Magwar in North Kadem Location, Nyatike Sub county have accused the area chief of colluding with police officers to extort money despite quitting the trade in January.
In what they termed as witch-hunt by the local chief, the brewers who spoke to LTN anonymously for fear of reprisal claimed the administrator had closed ‘their businesses to pave way for close relatives’ who have since taken over the business.
They further accused a senior police officer at Lwanda Police post of extorting money from them, sometimes issuing threats if they default in paying the bribe.
According to Mrs Mary Atieno (name withheld), a former changa trader, the officer only identified as Corporal Mutinda had threatened her with dire consequences including evacuation from her rented house should she fail to remit her monthly payments.
She expressed concerns that the local administratrator had colluded with the officers and were conducting raid in houses perceived to be involved in the illicit trade, yet the chiefs close relatives still plied the trade.
John Okinyi (not his real name) said they were targeted by police officers despite relinquishing the illicit trade, sometimes facing arbitrary arrests and fined before they are released.
He said he was arrested and forced to pay Sh 2000 for failing to remit payment for the past two months which he had to pay to secure his release despite quitting the business early January.
The locals now want Inspector General of Police and Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi to see on the officers who they claimed were acting in impunity.
The officers however declined to comment on the matter saying they were not authorized to address journalists.
On phone, Mr. Mutinda said he is not authorized to address the media on any issue asking us to get in touch with his bosses.
But when contacted, Nayatike Deputy County Commissioner Solomon Chesut said the matter had not been brought to his attention but would ‘investigate the issue and act appropriately.’
He said the issue is a serious breach of professional ethics that should never be left to thrive.
While noting that sale of illicit brew was illegal, the officer called on locals to report cares of rouge officers for immediate action noting that no officer is allowed to cause panic among residents.