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County passes alcohol Bill to enhance Mututho laws

POLITICS
By By SILAH KOSKEI | March 1st 2014

By SILAH KOSKEI

Kenya: The Uasin Gishu County Assembly has passed a Bill to discourage production of substandard liquor in the region.

The County Alcoholic Drinks Bill 2013, which was introduced by Health Services Committee Chairman Patrick Bundotich, stipulates guidelines for liquor production and penalties for breaking the law.

Majoriy Leader Josephat Lewoi stated that if assented to by the governor, the Bill will stop the abuse of alcohol that has hindered participation of youth in nation-building.

“The Bill was drafted to complement the Muthuto laws and it will be vital in countering the problem of alcohol abuse in our county,” he said.

Lewoi added that most licenced businessmen contravene existing laws by facilitating entry of illicit drinks in the market.

He said that after the enactment of the law, an alcoholic control and licence board will be formed to enforce laws.

Unanimously passed

“We have agreed to form a 10-member team to handle complaints from the liqour producers and licencing dealers,” he said.

The assembly unanimously passed the Bill, imposing strict penalties to persons found manufacturing or distributing illicit alcohol against the set rules.  It attracts a fine of Sh2 million or a jail term that does not exceed five years.

Any person found selling alcohol to people below the stipulated age will be liable to a one-year jail term or will pay a fine of up to Sh150,000. The Bill if passed will prohibit traders to sell alcohol to police officers in uniform and on duty knowingly. This is to avoid incapacitating security and other public officers from executing their roles effectively.

 A licencee will also be found to have contravened the law if they sell alcohol to already intoxicated individuals.

According to the Bill, those found guilty of being drunk and disorderly will be arrested without a warrant and will be immediately prosecuted in court where they will pay a fine not exceeding Sh1,000 or a three-month  jail term.

The county will employ village administrators and sub county administrators to help national government officers enforce laws on alcohol control.

The passing of the Bill however comes against the wishes of bar owners from the region who are bitter over the hefty fee on licenses amounting to Sh50,000 annually.

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