By Peter Kimani
Let the confusion end and let the party begin,” the national drug agency Nacada boss John Mututho announced this week as he unveiled a document that purportedly explained circumstances in which licences would be secured for parties organised at home.
“The magic word here is sale,” he said, flashing the white sheet on which specific words were circled then Mututho did a circle of his own, stabbing the air with a thick forefinger.
“If you have converted yourself into a seller of alcohol, a temporary licence is available and that’s what required…”
Trust only Mututho to envision such crooked jogs, like a perfectly healthy man converting himself into a complexity like “seller of alcohol” at his own home.
I wonder if strangers would be welcome in such premises to purchase alcohol, but again, only a man of Mututho temperament would consider selling alcohol to his circle of friends.
I suspect Mututho, like his Biblical namesake, John, must have had Jesus in mind and that miraculous conversion of water into wine.
I also suspect Mututho would have demanded that Jesus produces a temporary licence for the mass consumption of wine, even though he did not sell a drop of it.
But since Mututho is a pragmatic man, he has useful suggestions on how those partying at home can avoid the long arm of the law, which is likely to stretch even longer with Mututho’s tip-toeing machinations.
If one buys alcohol, Mututho says, it has to be consumed in their original bottles; any transfer of the liquids into other bottles, say a soft drink bottle, would constitute an adulteration, itself an offence punishable in law.
This is Mututho’s idea of brand recognition; that what marketers invest small fortunes developing has zero appeal on consumers.
I think Mututho has a point; he says out of a possible 500 alcohol varieties in the market, only a paltry 50 are recognisable.
So he proposes a prudent method in which the unknown can become known.
Hear him: “If you buy a drink and you have slaughtered your goat or whatever animal, just cut a piece of fresh liver and drop it in your glass with the drink. If it turns white, and then disintegrates, I can guarantee you that you will die if you consume that drink! But if it is genuine alcohol, nothing will happen to that piece of liver.”
Now things are getting clearer. Mututho thinks people who are likely to consume unwholesome drinks have the luxury of slaughtering a goat or “whatever animal…”
That is very persuasive on several counts; the prospects of drunks with unsteady hands pinning down a goat or “whatever animal” can be a source of great fun, but that’s only if they possess “whatever animal” for slaughter.
But since Mututho is only intent on verification of chemical contents of the drink, then a liver from “whatever animal” should do the trick – even if the rest of the carcass is unfit for human consumption.
Such is the complex nature of Mututho’s concoction for the restoration of social sanity that he has taken upon himself to enforce.
He does not understand that those who partake drinks with unrecognisable brands use codes that are not necessarily in English, and the only liver they have at their disposal for testing the potency of their drinks is their own liver.
As to the question of whether those livers have disintegrated or turned colour is none of Mututho’s nosy business.