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Team formed to crack down on dangerous liquor

Monday August 3 2015

Kiambu residents destroy illegal liquor seized at one of the main distributors in the town during a raid led by chiefs and area Administration Police Commander Weston Mwamba on July 6, 2015.

Kiambu residents destroy illegal liquor seized at one of the main distributors in the town during a raid led by chiefs and area Administration Police Commander Weston Mwamba on July 6, 2015. The government is seeking to tighten the regulation of alcoholic drinks by having all manufacturing plants inspected. PHOTO | STEVE NJUGUNA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

The government is seeking to tighten the regulation of alcoholic drinks by having all manufacturing plants inspected and an audit done on their brands to determine their suitability for consumption.

Consequently, a taskforce including representatives of 12 State agencies has been formed and gazetted through a notice dated July 10 and the public provided with a toll-free number through which it can report those violating rules guiding the selling of alcoholic beverages.

The team comprises Ministry of Interior and National Coordination, which is the convenor, the Council of Governors, Attorney General, Nacada, National Intelligence Service, Anti-counterfeit Agency, Kenya Bureau of Standards, Kenya Revenue Authority, Public Health, government chemist, National Police Service and National Youth Service.

“I wish to inform Kenyans that I have constituted a taskforce comprising regulatory and law enforcement agencies to undertake an audit of alcoholic beverages in the country as part of the government’s campaign to eradicate dangerous drinks,” an advertisement in the Nation signed by Cabinet Secretary for Interior, Mr Joseph Nkaissery, read Monday.

TARGETED

The measure follows an order from the government to MPs to help fight illicit liquor in their constituencies, and which has resulted in licensed drinks also being targeted in the raids.

“They will visit and inspect all premises manufacturing alcoholic drinks and recommend measures of control including closure of production where necessary.

They will take audit of the alcoholic drink, potable spirits and illicit brews in Kenya market and manufacturers and collate views from the public on how to control potable spirits and combat illicit brews,” said the ad.

The period of the team’s mandate was, however, not provided.

Keroche Breweries managing director, Ms Tabitha Karanja said manufacturers welcome the idea of having the drinks audited as it would reassure the public on their suitability.