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When a truck carrying alcohol rolled into a ditch on
Monday, the usual light note remark that Kenya is a
drinking nation stopped looking like a joke.
Controlling the hundreds of thirsty Nyeri residents
who wanted to be allowed to drink the alcohol at
Marua on the Kiganjo- Nanyuki road became the
primary agenda for the police.
The fact that the accident occurred in broad daylight,
at 3pm ensured that the crowd was huge.
Part of that crowd gathered at the scene had been
transported to the spot by tens of boda boda
motorcycles from as far as Karatina, some 20
kilometres away.
The young men and women spirited away some
spirits in 250 millilitre bottles before police arrived.
They hid the loot in a nearby maize farm and some
stood guard with pangas as others went for more. A
young man was slashed with a panga as he tried to
invade another man’s loot which was “safely”
stashed away.
But it is the police who had hard time trying to guard
the few bottles of spirits that remained. They stood
with their guns on the ready, trying to repel the
crowd which kept on pushing and shouting to be
allowed to have “their right”.
“We want our right. It’s our luck,” the rowdy crowd
chanted, some seemingly inebriated by the spirits
they had already taken.
The five police officers on guard were seemingly
getting overwhelmed, and had to call for
reinforcement from the Administration Police who
arrived when things were almost getting out of
control.
Some women claimed they were not after drinking
but wanted to sell the alcohol and get food for
children.
“We just want to search for something for the kids,”
one could be heard saying.
Some youth accused the officers of stashing away
bottles of alcohol in the boot of their patrol car and
said there was no reason for them to prevent the
youth from enjoying the rest.
The officers however adamantly prevented the
youths from looting some more and the remaining
bottles were taken away from the scene.
It was not clear what caused the accident but an eye-
witness said the lorry started wavering before rolling
into the ditch near River Sagana.
The driver however escaped unhurt, but was not
available for comment.

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