Mututho on a mission to help drug addicts reform

When the name John Mututho is mentioned, many are familiar with it as far as ‘Mututho Laws’ on alcohol are concerned but a visit to John Mututho Empowerment Centre-Jomec then you find there is more than just the ‘Mututho Laws’.

Established immediately after he left Nacada, Jomec has transformed the lives of many alcohol addicts who are now productive in life after quitting the bottle.

The facility sits on a 15 acre piece of land and according to the former Nacada boss John Mututho it cost him close to 400 million shillings to establish the same.

At the centre we meet Margaret Wangeci who was an addict for many years.

The 49 year old mother of three says her life was messed up as she encountered economic challenge after borrowing a loan from Kenya women and her businesses failed forcing the loaner to come and collect all her household goods.

She says this was the point she fell in for the bottle as she thought that was the only way to forget about her tribulations especially after relatives and friends isolated her.

“I felt like the whole world had isolated me and I had no option but fall for the bottle” she says.

Ms Wangeci who admits being an alcohol addict for over 2 years says her turning point was when her brother and children started talking to her after they realized she was not eating but taken over by alcohol.

She says late in 2017, they approached her and told her that they wanted to take her somewhere to have some Guinness beer.

Since she was in love with Guinness as her brand beer, she accepted and they left only to find herself at John Mututho Empowerment Centre-Jomec.

“They tricked me that they were taking me somewhere to take Guinness and because I love Guinness, I accepted and we left only to find myself at the centre” she says.

She was introduced to Mututho and admitted at the facility for her treatment.

Ms Wangeci is now a reformed person and has been empowered to start business ino9rder to be self reliant.To her, life is what you make it to be and she is now focusing on improving the lives of others through motivational talks form her life experience, addiction and how she quit.

Ms Wangeci is just one of the many alcohol addicts who have been assisted to quit the bottle through the John Mututho Empowerment Centre-Jomec.

According to Mututho, Kenya has close to 8.9 million addicts and the trend if not addressed will mess up even the government’s agenda on development.

He says there are only two ways to address addiction in Kenya; supply suppression and demand reduction.

The former Nacada boss however says, history has it that no government has been able to address the supply suppression and therefore the easiest way which he has also adopted by establishing the Jomec centre is demand reduction.

Living by the words of John F. Kennedy , ‘Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country’, Mututho says his is to ensure that he plays his role in transforming the society by ensuring many youths who are addicts quit the same.

The many youths who are going through the centre are just part of the demand according to Mututho and once they quit then the issue of addiction is in one way addressed through the demand reduction.Over 1000 patients have gone through the centre in one year with 58.2% success.

“There are two sure ways to deal with the addiction menace by supply suppression and demand reduction….. John F. Kennedy said, ‘Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country’…I John Mututho I’m just doing that” he said.

However, he admits that indeed there are challenges owing to the fact that some of the patients have complications that may affect the outcome success.According to Mututho, there has been close to 20% bad failures.

“There are failures too, 20% bad failures because some of these people have complications and it becomes difficult to attain the total success” says Mututho.

He commends Nacada for the good work they have continued to do through campaigns on the effects of drugs and substances abuse.

He says concerted efforts need to be enhanced to ensure the youths who are languishing in drugs are transformed and restored back to normalcy.

“Nacada does a good job but there is need for more efforts on rehabilitation” says Mututho.

His advice to parents is to ensure they take up responsibility of bringing up their children in better way and avoid neglecting them.

He says many youths have ended up in drug addiction after their parents neglected them.

“I want to tell parents that it is your responsibility to take care of your children. Don’t neglect them for that is the reason why we are where we are with many youths in addiction” he said.

PHOTO/ Centre in Nakuru.