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Several people arrested in Kiganjo gambling raid.

Police officers acting on a tip-off from members of public raided gambling dens in Kiganjo estate and arrested the operators of these joints and several patrons who were were inside when police raided these dens.

About ten machines were seized from the two joints that were raided, most of which were owned by people from other counties.

The operation, led by Thika Town MP Patrick Wainaina, caught the gamblers red-handed conducting illegally gaming services even to minors.

Wainaina said that this action was necessitated by public outcry adding that the business had brought with it a lot of other negative elements such as petty thefts, drug-related problems as well as suicides such as the one that befell a 9-year old boy in Kilifi County last week.

“We will not allow people from other places to come and destroy the lives of our young people. None of these operators hail from Thika and it is very unfortunate that they have wooed children and women into this addiction which is unacceptable,” said Wainaina.

The MP vowed to wipe out all those businesses that operated betting machines illegally across the constituency arguing that there was no way the people could build a stable economy with some people encouraging petty crime through unscrupulous activities.

He added that he would fight illegal wines and spirits shops and drug traffickers using the same zeal until he rid Thika off all vices that jeopardised growth especially among the youth.

“I would really want to send this warning that I will not condone any police officer or chiefs whose areas of jurisdiction harbour criminals and other illegal activities. We must all work to create an enabling environment for business which is also safe for our children to grow in. Anyone deviating from this course will have to go. No two ways about it,” he warned.

Kiganjo residents praised the MP for the raid and lamented how young children had gotten hooked into the betting menace. Some of the men also accused their wives of engaging in the practice, at times losing money meant for food to these machines.

“It has now gotten serious as even women are betting with the little money we leave for food. There are so many cases of domestic disputes that are emanating from the addiction to betting and it high time we put this to an end,” said Juma Maanzo, a bodaboda operator in Kiganjo.

He added that young girls were also lured into prostitution as they followed this ‘easy money makers’ something that was heavily affecting education standards in the area. 

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