CS Kindiki: We have made huge leaps in fight against illicit brew

Interior CS Professor Kithure Kindiki during the third regional stakeholder’s engagement on the fight against illicit alcohol, drugs and other poisonous substances at Kirubia Stadium, Tharaka Nithi County. [Courtesy: Twitter]

Interior CS Professor Kithure Kindiki has said his ministry has made huge leaps in the fight against illicit brews.

According to Kindiki, the sale of illicit brews has been elevated to the Top 5 Existential Threats to Kenya’s future list.

His ministry has been conducting a nationwide crackdown with a special unit tasked with inspecting liquor businesses and checking compliance with legal and regulatory frameworks.

According to a June 13 statement by Kindiki, 86 per cent of audited businesses are in compliance with the country’s alcohol laws and policies.

“A total of 43,708 outlets have been assessed, with 37,713 already cleared to carry on with operations while 5,995 have been closed down due to serious safety breaches and failure to fully comply with essential legal requirements,” reads the press release.

From the report, the Rift Valley region has had the highest number of premises in compliance (23,375) followed by Eastern (5,708), Nairobi (3,315) and Central (1,827).

The Nyanza region has 1,217 businesses that have complied, while Western (1,153), Coast (706) and the North Eastern region (52).

The inspection exercise has also been checking license statuses, the legal standards of alcoholic beverages stocked, and the labelling of alcohol products.

According to CS Kindiki, the exercise will see a fresh review of all licenses issued to manufacturers, distributors and traders dealing with alcoholic products.

Kindiki says the exercise also intends to address cases of misappropriation of the permits, adding that some investors have been found venturing well beyond the business activities specified under their license categories.

The CS says that limited enforcement capacity within county governments as well as loopholes in licensing process has been a stumbling block in the war against the menace.

He added that following a series of stakeholder meetings, the national government and counties pledged to fulfil their obligations as part of the fight against the trade.