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Popular clubs among liquor outlets to be closed by government for operating illegally

Popular clubs among liquor outlets to be closed by government for operating illegally

Eldoret,

Wednesday, March 13, 2024,

KNA by Kiptanui Cherono

Some popular clubs within Eldoret Town and its outskirts are among those targeted for closure as the government intensifies its efforts towards eradication of illicit brews drugs and substance abuse.

During a multi-agency meeting on alcohol, drug, and substance abuse co-chaired by Uasin Gishu County Commissioner Dr. Edyson Nyale and County Secretary Edwin Bett, it emerged that the clubs have been operating with impunity as the owners claim protection from senior people in government and influential politicians.

According to a report from the County government’s alcoholic drinks control board, the clubs were operating illegally since they were denied licenses due to their proximity to learning institutions and residential areas.

These clubs were denied licenses because they do not meet the 300 metres radius criteria from learning institutions, but we have faced challenges trying to close them down since the owners claim to be well connected, said officials from the County government.

However, the County Commissioner assured enforcement officers that the war on alcohol, drugs, and substance abuse currently has the goodwill of the senior most office in the Country and they should go about their duties of enforcement without fear as no one would call them from ‘above’.

Dr. Nyale said, “alcohol, drug, and substance abuse had become a threat to national security, the government now ranks the trade, consumption, and abuse of illicit alcohol, narcotics drugs, and psychotropic substances as one of the five key national security threats, and has issued a notification on the actions to be taken to eradicate the menace, and this we can only manage if we work as a team.”

The CC said all liquor outlets operating near learning institutions across the County will be closed with immediate effect, adding that those operating bars without licenses should be arrested and prosecuted as soon as their premises are closed.He directed County security teams to mobilize Chiefs and their Assistants, and officers from the County government to move with speed and identify liquor outlets flouting the alcoholic drinks control act regulations as well as all unlicensed and non-compliant chemists and agro vets for immediate closure.

He said though the County does not have licensed second-generation alcohol and alcoholic beverage distillers and manufacturers, unlicensed ones exist and must be identified and closed permanently.Uasin Gishu County Secretary welcomed the recent directives issued by the national government on the eradication of illicit brews, drugs, and substance abuse saying they will give a new impetus to the enforcement of the laws on alcohol and drugs.

“Most of the laws have always been in existence, our major undoing has been enforcement, but with the new notification from the national government we shall refocus on serious enforcement because we have the political goodwill,” said Bett.

The County Director of alcoholic drinks control board Koiya Arap Maiyo told the meeting that 942 liquor licences were not approved, but some unscrupulous business people were still operating liquor outlets illegally.

Courtesy; KNA

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