By Pascal Mwandabo
The sudden arrival of a GK vehicle in the village makes people take to their heels in all directions.
But those inebriated struggle to come to terms with the unfolding scenario.
Their heavy bloodshot eyes turn to the owners of the illicit brew dens for help. But the owners are too astonished to notice.
The community policing team and police officers rummage through the shanty structures as hundreds of litres of bootleg brews are confiscated.
This is a typical scenario in Taita–Taveta County which has gained notoriety as a hub of illicit brews in Coast region.
Degree of sanity
The exercise is part of a wider programme the Government is engaged in to fight the menace, and it has recorded notable success.
While the Mututho Law — formally known as the Alcoholic Drinks Control Act (2010) — has brought a degree of sanity and order in regulating the sell and consumption of alcoholic drinks in licensed bars in the towns, the war has now shifted to the villages where drinkers, keen to beat the law are retreating in droves.
Investigations by The Standard have established that there has been a sharp increase in brewing and consumption of illicit brews in Voi&searchbutton=SEARCH'> Voi and other outlying areas in Taita-Taveta County since the introduction of Mututho Law.
According to Voi&searchbutton=SEARCH'> Voi District Commissioner Mr Raphael Lemaletian, this could be partly because the price of beer and other bottled alcoholic drinks has risen following the stringent licensing procedures under the new law.
“Alcohol drinkers who cannot afford drinks sold in bars get a cheaper substitute to quench their craving. Their option is the illicit brew,” says Lemaletian.