Government Constitutes Team To Spearhead Vetting Of Alcohol Licenses

A specialized multi-agency team has been constituted to spearhead the vetting process of alcohol licenses and their operations.

The team comprises of members from the State Department for Internal Security and National Administration, the Office of the Deputy President, the State Department for Public Health and Professional Standards, the State Department for Trade, the State Department for Labour and Skills Development.

Others are National Authority for the Campaign against Alcohol and Drug Abuse, Kenya Revenue Authority, Kenya Bureau of Standards, Anti Counterfeit Authority, and National Environment Management Authority.

Principal Secretary Internal Security and National Administration Dr. Raymond Omollo in a press statement said a verification exercise initiated on Monday, 18th this week, will ensure that manufacturers install quality control laboratories equipped with specialized testing apparatus and qualified personnel, and ensure rigorous scrutiny of raw materials and finished products.

‘The imple
mentation of strict product tracking systems is required to monitor alcohol distribution from source to consumer, this underscores the government’s commitment to public health and safety,’ said Omollo.

He announced that currently, all licenses for second-generation alcohol distillers and manufacturers remain suspended, pending a thorough nationwide vetting process., noting that a total of 35 companies have been identified as having their licenses either previously suspended, cancelled or found dormant.

‘The focus will be on spirit manufacturers, with over 29 premises expected to undergo examination,’ he added.

Omollo disclosed that County security teams have been empowered to implement the 25 directives from the Ministry which include shutting down all unlicensed manufacturers, distilleries, agrovets and chemists within 10 days.

He however, noted that, the ministry is evaluating the integrity and performance of officers in several counties, where the process has begun in Kiambu, Muranga, Kirinyaga, Nyeri,
Nyandarua, Nakuru, Machakos and Meru Counties.

The PS said enforcement is also being undertaken against bars located in residential areas and near schools, and those operating outside stipulated hours, adding that at least 6,931 premises have been closed and alcoholic stocks confiscated.

He directed all law enforcement officers who are involved in the alcohol trade to stop as it is a violation of the Public Officers Ethics Act and the Constitution.

The PS observed that alcohol and drug abuse pose a significant threat to the safety of people and security of the country citing incidences of deaths caused from adulterated alcohol, reduction in productivity, health complications and fueling of organized crime networks which he noted contributed to instability and violence within communities.

‘I urge the public to actively participate in safeguarding our communities by reporting any establishments within their residential areas to relevant authorities,’ appealed Omollo.

He at the same time announced that the
prohibition of Shisha still remains, noting that the violation to the directive has led to the shutdown of a total of 80 establishments while stressing that pharmaceutical and agricultural sectors have to comply with the laid down regulations.

The government closed down a total of 804 chemists/ pharmacies and 761 agrovets due to non-compliance.

The government elevated the fight against illicit alcohol, drug, and substance abuse by declaring it a top national security threat, marking a significant intensification of its efforts against the vices.

This declaration was followed with the introduction of 25 key directives aimed at initiating sweeping crackdowns, regulations, and enforcement actions across the entire demand and supply chain.

Source: Kenya News Agency