Crackdown on illicit brews in Central Kenya to continue

The Central Regional Commissioner (CRC), Wilson Njega has said the crackdown on illicit alcohol will be sustained until the region is free from the vice.

He said the three pronged attack targeting illicit brewers, those selling unwholesome and counterfeit second generation liquors and those licensed but were not paying requisite taxes will not end with the expiry of the 100-day Rapid Results Initiative (RRI) period that started on March 1.

Njega, spoke on the banks of the River Chania and at Chaka market where he led administration and security officials in destroying illicit brewing gear recovered in ongoing operations.

The CRC said he was happy that the Judiciary had started imposing heavy fines and bond terms on suspects charged with practicing the illegal trade, saying previously, and suspects were let off with light fines, only to resume the trade immediately.

He urged those involved in the business to find alternative engagements that are useful saying the government would not relent in efforts to ensure communities remained healthy.

During the operation, a grandmother and a grandson were arrested as some 720 litres of kangara and 40 liters of chang’aa were recovered.

Meanwhile, 15 people have been elected to serve as representatives to the Kiambu Alcoholic Drinks Regulatory committee to oversee the implementation of the recently enacted laws that aim to control alcoholism and illicit brews.

KNA Thika office has reported that the elections held at Thika Stadium on Wednesday saw each of the five wards voted in three representatives to the committee.

Those elected included, John Mugendi to head the Thika township ward, Patrick Mwangi Kamande Hospital ward while John Kamau Kiberenge George Njihia Njenga, Raphael Njuguna Musembi will head the Kamenu,Gatuanyaga, and Ngoliba wards respectively.

The committee will meet the County Directorate of Alcoholic Drinks Control in Kiambu on Tuesday next week where they will be inducted on the Kiambu County Alcoholic Drinks Control Act.

The committee is mandated among others to consider vetting applications for alcoholic drinks licensing in accordance with the Act.

In carrying out its functions, the sub-county committee shall ensure that there is effective public participation in accordance with the framework for citizen participation established under the current laws.

Once inducted, the committee shall publish a notice to the members of the public inviting them to apply for a license under the Kiambu County Alcoholic Drinks Control Act.

Bar owners from Kiambu County have all been instructed to apply afresh to be allowed to sell alcoholic drinks in the area.

Governor Ferdinand Waititu has locked horns with bar owners who have even gone to court to challenge some of the rules the county government has introduced in efforts aimed at controlling alcoholism, saying they were draconian.

Kiambu County has been ranked among the worst hit in matters alcoholism, forcing the County Government to confront the vice head on by introducing new laws, which have not gone down well with the business community who sell alcohol.

Source: Kenya News Agency