• April 18, 2024
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Committees to spearhead vetting of alcoholic drinks outlets in Nyandarua launched

Committees to spearhead vetting of alcoholic drinks outlets in Nyandarua launched

Nyandarua,

Thursday, March 14, 2024

KNA by Antony Mwangi

In a bid to intensify the fight against the sale and distribution of illicit and second-generation alcoholic drinks, The County Government of Nyandarua has established a committee that will spearhead the vetting of outlets that will be authorized to sell alcoholic drinks in the County.

Nyandarua County Governor Dr. Kiarie Badilisha and County Commissioner Abdirisack Jaldesa have praised the move saying they will not relent on the war against the manufacture, sale and consumption of alcoholic drinks and especially second generation brews.Mr. Jaldesa noted that so far, the government has already closed down 134 bars and 62 wines and spirits outlets in Nyandarua.

He added that they have also closed down 15 chemists that do not meet the necessary requirements as dictated by the Pharmacy and Poisons Regulatory Board.

On his side, Governor Badilisha vowed to ensure that a generation today and in the future has been saved from the scourge of alcoholism.

“Nyandarua will be an example of how to save lives from killer merchants and profiteers. And this war isn’t simple or one of quick gains; it is long and requires a holistic approach, including mitigating interventions targeting our youth and those most susceptible to alcohol and drugs abuse,” said Badilisha.

The committee comprises Ward Administrators, National Government Administration Officers (NGAOs) and several other members form Kenya Revenue Authority, Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) and Department of Health.

The move comes two months after the Nyandarua County Alcoholic Drinks Control Act 2024 was gazetted in January this year to replace the one that had been in force since 2019 that bans transportation of alcoholic drinks at night.

The law also restricts drinking hours from 5:00 pm to 11:00 pm on weekdays and 2:00 pm to 11:00 pm on weekends and public holidays.It provides that any person producing, manufacturing and distributing alcoholic drinks in the County must make an application to the management committee and pay a fee where applicable.At the same time, manufacturers will also be required to obtain a licence or certification from KEBS.

The Act recommends among other things; the introduction of a joint vetting committee between the County and the National government officers (the County Commissioner and the officers of the County government) in licensing of the bars and restaurants in the County.

According to the Act, all vehicles transporting the alcoholic drinks must be branded and operate between 8am to 6pm to avert cases of mischief.

While commending Nyandarua for being the first County in Mt Kenya region to approve the Bill, a section of leaders expressed their commitment to the fight against alcoholism despite threats of losing their political influence.

The leaders noted that the fight against drugs has not been bearing fruit due to lack of sufficient laws, but now with the concerted efforts from both National and County administrations, the fight could be fruitful.

The new law stipulates that every Sub-County will have an Alcoholic Drinks Regulation Committee which will vet applications for liquor sellers, subsequently filing a quarterly report to the County Alcoholic Drinks Regulation and Management Committee.

The law also bars anyone from producing, manufacturing and selling alcohol in the County without a valid licence, contrary to which offenders could be fined Sh 30,000 or jailed for a term not exceeding four months.Supermarkets, retailers and restaurants will not be granted licences to sell alcohol.

Licences will not also be granted to off-licence retail outlets commonly referred to as wines & spirits.

Courtesy; KNA

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