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‘Mututho law’ now targets under 21 drinkers

By ERIC MATARA and MAGDALENE WANJA

National Authority for the Campaign against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (Nacada) wants the minimum legal age for alcohol consumption raised from the current 18 to 21.

Nacada chairman John Mututho who spoke on Monday at the scene of an accident which claimed lives of five teenagers at Salgaa in Nakuru County, said he was working with Parliament to have the laws changed.

“Even research has shown that 18-year-olds are not responsible enough to drink and should be restricted from alcohol consumption,” said Mr Mututho.

He also called for the immediate arrest of the owners of the  Nakuru drinking joint that allegedly sold alcohol to the boys before they met their death.

The five teenagers Brian Kariuki (17), Derick Mbugua (18) Kelvin Kamru (19), Dominic Mwangi (17) and Bill Kamau (17) perished in a New Year dawn accident after allegedly drinking at a pub in Nakuru town.

The saloon car they had hired collided with a bus from Bungoma town heading to Nairobi. The teenagers are said to have been partying in Nakuru town as they ushered the New Year.

The Njoro-based police officer who allegedly allowed his vehicle with Ugandan number plates to be used by the minors is yet to be arrested even as the civil society in Nakuru questioned the motive behind the delay.

Nakuru Human Rights Network director David Kuria and his counterpart James Mugo of the Social Watch Network said the officer should have surrendered to the police.

NUMEROUS ACCIDENTS

Meanwhile, truck drivers operating from Salgaa centre on the Nakuru-Eldoret highway on Monday called on the Nakuru County government to provide parking space for the heavy commercial vehicles.

The operators said their plight had been neglected, something that has contributed the numerous accidents along the dangerous stretch from Ngata Bridge to Kibunjia.

Through their representative, Mr John Mbithi, the operators said some of the heavy vehicles using the road needed more space as compared to the other vehicles.

Mr Mbithi added that the limited parking space for the vehicles was contributing to most accidents as the drivers’ visibility was affected.

“If you talk to many truck drivers who have been involved in accidents along the stretch, they will tell you they could not see the road clearly,” said Mr Mbithi.

But even as they spoke, more than 25 people were on Monday hospitalised at the Nakuru Level 5 Hospital with injuries after the buses they were travelling in were involved in two separate accidents along the Nakuru-Eldoret Highway.

Rongai OCPD Joseph Mwamburi a 62-seater bus ferrying passengers from Kisumu lost control and crashed at Migaa area leaving six people with serious injuries and another 10 with minor injuries.

In the second accident, a Nairobi-bound bus lost control at Soilo area as it tried to hit a personal car and rolled, leaving five people seriously hurt  and more than 10 others with minor injuries.