Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu on Saturday dismissed claims that his 'Kaa Sober' initiative to rehabilitate alcoholics is a waste of public resources.
The governor on Thursday begun touring all the wards in the county to personally oversee the payment of the recruits for the 20 days that they have gone without pay. He said the project will be a success as the over 5,000 recruits are to be enrolled for short technical courses to provide them with marketable skills.
He said the first batch shall graduate with masonry, hairdressing, beauty, carpentry among other skills in December.
Critics of the programme have argued that the project is a waste of public resources since the recruits do not undergo through any form of treatment to overcome their addiction.
They also question the exact number of beneficiaries, with some claiming that Mr Waititu had inflated the numbers so as to loot public resources. They further argue that the Sh2 million spent paying the recruits Sh400 for the casual labour conducted per day would have best been used in other development projects.
Governor Waititu, in his defence, told off his critics saying that the recruits also have a right to enjoy the resources allocated to the county.
"Tell those who are criticising this project that you also have a right to a portion of the government resources available for this county," he told Kiganjo ward residents yesterday.
He added that, much as the recruits deserved better roads and other development services, they were also entitled to money that ensure they feed their families.
"If someone comes to you to criticise this project, ask them if they are in support of this programme that ensures that your stomachs are full.”
“You cannot eat roads or the street lighting poles. Let those criticising this projects stop feeling envious of the Sh400 that you are getting per day as they pocket millions in their accounts," he told the recruits. He said the project has so far been a success seeing that a number of the recruits have now remarried and are bearing children.
"Talk to those among you that do not have wives. Go ahead and make plans for them to marry so that they can live a full life. The life of a man with a wife and that of one without cannot be compared. They are as different as heaven and earth," Waititu told the recruits.
However, he urged the few who are yet to quit alcoholism to do so soon to avoid giving the project a bad name.
Seventy Kiganjo ward recruits were set to receive Sh8,000 each for the 20 days that they have not been paid for the cleaning and bush clearing services.
Despite Mr Waititu promising them that they would get paid in full that same day, the money they were given was not enough and they vowed to stay put till they received their dues in full.