Uhuru endorses ‘moderate’ consumption of Busaa during Western tour
President Uhuru Kenyatta caused a stir on Friday when he endorsed the consumption of Busaa – an alcoholic drink that is popular in Western.
Uhuru made the endorsement at Malaba Township Primary School during his tour of Western where he campaigned for the Jubilee Party and launched development projects.
“Engage in moderate drinking. But take care of your families,” the President said.
Uhuru was responding to a concern by Busia Governor Sospeter Ojaamong who accused police officers in the county of harassing local busaa brewers and drinkers.
Ojaamong said the police, instead of fighting people he referred to as ‘real criminals’, were only keen on destabilising the peace enjoyed in the county.
“Police officers appear to target busaa brewers and drinkers instead of pursuing real criminals who wreak havoc by killing innocent residents,” Ojaamong said at the rally which was also attended by Deputy President William Ruto.
He accused the police of laxity, saying the focus on busaa brewers, at the expense of fighting hardcore criminals, had led to high cases of insecurity in the border county.
Uhuru arrived in Malaba after commissioning health equipment and road projects in Budalang’i and Matayos sub-counties.
The governor’s comments come in the wake of the murder of three boda boda riders in Malaba town three weeks ago.
However, the president cautioned residents to desist from excessive drinking, further asking those who partake of the brew to do so in moderation.
The President’s endorsement contradicts his stand on local beer consumption, if the recent operation to rid country of illicit brew is anything to go by.
In July 2015, he summoned all leaders from Central to State House and ordered a crackdown against locally-made drinks.
At that time, the president vowed to fight the menace and said uncontrolled consumption of illicit brews in the region had devastated many lives.
Busaa is made of a mixture of fermented maize and millet floor that is brewed for three days before being served.
The drink is mainly taken during the festive season and during holidays as well as during planting and harvesting seasons.
Many Kenyans normally cross to neighbouring Uganda where the brewing and consumption of Busaa is legal.