KWAL seeks to join KBL case in bid to protect products

NAIROBI: The Kenya Wines Agencies Ltd (KWAL) wants to be enjoined in a suit seeking to stop the Government from confiscating and destroying licensed alcoholic products.

KWAL through lawyer Geoffrey Mogendi said their products are being targeted indiscriminately, and have been confiscated and destroyed during the war against illicit brews.

"The wanton crackdown is an obvious abuse of the legal system and the constitutional order and is lawless and oppressive," he said.

In an affidavit, KWAL Legal Officer Doris Thangei said the company deals in products that are certified as safe for human consumption by various regulatory bodies.

Key distributors have also closed down, with others threatening to withdraw the sale of their products, she said.

She said this in a case filed by Kenya Breweries Ltd and UDV Kenya Ltd on July 8, in which the two are seeking to stop the Interior ministry from confiscating and destroying their alcoholic products during the crackdown on illicit brew.

High Court Judge George Odunga issued orders stopping the destruction of licensed brands. The court also ordered that security agencies offer security at premises that manufacture, distribute and sell alcoholic brands produced by the two companies.

Justice Odunga further ordered security for their products on transit to ensure their safe passage. He directed that the parties return to court on July 21 to confirm compliance and the parties to have filed their responses by then.

Odunga further ordered the Kenya Bureau of Standards to publish on its website and in local newspapers a list of the certified and licensed brands and also publish the criteria of identifying second and third-generation drinks as a guide to eradicate illicit alcohol.

KBL and UDV also sought to have the Alcoholic Drinks Control (Supplementary, Licensing) regulations 2015 quashed.