After two photos of women surfaced online after they were beaten and illicit brews poured on them, a private researcher indentifed as Lemiso Sato Emmanuel sought to hear the women’s side of the story.
Lemiso posted his finding on his Facebook page as follows:
“Following the surfacing online of a photo of a Chief pouring busaa over a helpless woman, and another showing a disabled woman sitting down dejected with busaa all over her body, I decided to follow up on the cases and have since established the following:
The two photos come from one operation which was carried out jointly by seven chiefs and 20+ policemen. The operation spanned across several locations of Ainabkoi Constituency, Uasin Gishu County. It was a combined effort towards eradication of illicit brew, to which I support.
The first scenario features Mama Viola Maiyo from Chemngoror, Koiluget Village (Salama Dam) Kipkabus, Ainabkoi. She’s the one seated as the chief pours busaa on her. Viola is a married mother of six. The husband is a manual laborer while she depends on brewing ‘illicit’ alcohol to meet the family’s financial needs.
On that day ( Friday last week), the administration team raided her village at around 9 a.m. They were rounded up and beaten. She says one of her daughters was scaled by hot water in the ensuing melee. The officers destroyed some of her brewing paraphernalia and finally poured the busaa on her. The chief caught in the photo isn’t her local chief(Mr Chemwolo), but from a neighboring location.
The operation happened in the full glare of her children and the angry boy appearing in the background is called Aaron, her son (and though emotional I told him to stand at the the exact spot as seen)
She’s called Lydiah Chepkoech Kigen(Kapkomen), a disabled and Jobless single mother of two and loving grandmother of two. She comes from Emgwen Village, Kapng’etuny, Ainabkoi Uasin Gishu County. Her physical disabilities grossly limit the type of work she can do to eke out a living. Her two children, a son and daughter, dropped out of school and are at home with her. Her house not completed, so they stay at her parents house who are deceased.
The officers reached her village at around 1 p.m. Lydiah and her fellow brewers were rounded up and beaten. Being unable to run, she was trampled upon leading to bodily harm. She’s since been visiting hospital for treatment.
Lydiah has since had a visit from her chief(Mr Walter Kipkurui), who came to apologize for the humiliation and injury meted upon her person.
The office of the ombudsman is following up with the ministry of interior to see to it that the chief is brought to book for his excesses and both Viola and Lydiah will have access to pro bono legal representation from a kind netizen should the need arise.
Both women acknowledge that illicit brew, and all attendant damage it causes, isn’t the most admirable route out of poverty and are willing to quit the trade all together should they get support to embark on other ventures to help them support their dependants.
We have since had many people offering their help to the women and met several of them there today and we would wish to have a PAY BILL NO so that we can contribute something small for them to begin their lives outside brewing.
Meanwhile if you wish to reach to either of them, call me on +254 725 999 513.
Thanks and God Bless you.