From the October 2005 issue of the Socialist Standard
It hit the country like a bomb. It was unexpected, unusual and more so coming from what is considered as less endowed members of the community. 27 people had died after consuming illicit brew, brewed, distributed and consumed in the full knowledge of the administration and other leaders. Yes. Just like that. The distributor of the brew, Beatrice Kuvia, was arrested and charged with selling beer without a valid licence. But not with the deaths of 27 souls.
The beer was brewed and laced with chemicals not for the good of the consumers but for profit. And that’s where the whole story lies.
The vehicle carrying the otherwise referred to as illicit drink passed through 8 police roadblocks and 10 senior police officers had their palms greased to allow the safe passage to the drink to its consumers. The provincial administration knew the woman distributor had been in the business for as long as the existence of the world. She had been taken to court on numerous occasions but in all these had been let off the hook by being fined and, having the money, was able to pay. At other times, she was released to do communal work. So the judiciary is culpable. Who knows, maybe the judges were corrupted.
This inhuman behaviour is prevalent not only in Machakos where the incident occurred but other parts of Kenya as well. It has been happening because there has been no political or otherwise will to stamp out the behaviour. People are ready to be bribed to do things they’d normally not have done. Poor Kenyans are ready to partake any brew just by looking at the price tag. The said brews cost 10 shillings per 300ml bottle.
But in a capitalist world such things are bound to occur. What is paramount is the money coming out of such transactions, but not the morality of the trade. And unless we come to our senses and know what is the real cause of incidents such as the above, we’ll continue to die, be deprived of our rights and remain docile in social situations.
It’s time socialism tried to rear its head and dare capitalism and capitalists.