Runyenjes beer maker to get licence, says governor

Embu Governor Martin Wambora when he visited Mountain Slopes Commercial Services brewery plant in Runyenjes town ahead of its reopening. (Joseph Muchiri, Standard)

The Embu County Government will this week issue a liquor licence to a beer factory in Runyenjes, as part of supporting local industries and employment creation.

Governor Martin Wambora visited the Mountain Slopes Commercial Services plant on Friday to inspect its manufacturing potential, where he instructed Trade CEC David Kariuki to issue the licence.

The plant had stopped operations for over a year after failing to obtain a liquor licence, something the management had attributed to trade wars from an established beer manufacturer.

Before its closure, the factory which has a capacity of producing 5,000 bottles of Kingmaster Opaque Beer hourly used to employ 60 people.

Wambora toured the plant in the company of Kariuki and other county officials, where he pledged to support local industries for employment creation and the region’s economic growth.

 “We are supporting several value addition industries in the agriculture sector. We also support the beer plant so that after work people can wind out taking drinks that have been validated by the government. We want this factory to grow and even sell its products all over the country. No one should stop the firm as it has all the required approvals. The county government issue the liquor licence,” he said.

The brewer’s managing director Samuel Muriuki showed the county officials various approvals from the National Inter Agency Team including licences from Kenya Bureau of Standards, Kenya Revenue Authority, Public Health and Nacada.

Muriuki said the brewer had invested heavily to automate some of the plant’s operations in a bid to manufacture high quality opaque beer under high standards.

He said apart from creating jobs, the firm has lined up a massive tree planting initiative and assisting the elderly, in addition, to a campaign to promote responsible drinking.

Wambora who had earlier visited Yetu Dairies, which manufactures Zawadi dairy products in Dallas estate, Embu town urged leaders and citizens to depart from politicking and concentrate on development matters.

“We are keen on supporting the local industries in line with the government’s manufacturing pillar of the Big Four agenda. Time for politicking and court battles is over. Let’s unite to build the county,” he said.

While residents welcomed the re-opening of the brewer, some, led by Runyenjes Central MCA Steve Simba criticised the move as retrogressive fearing that it would lead to increased alcoholism.