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25 New Tough Rules Rules In Fight Against Illicit Alcohol

  1. All existing valid licenses will be vetted afresh within twenty-one days (21) days of this directive, with premises approved to resume operations only upon receipt of fresh approval.
  2. Fresh license applications shall require manufacturers to have Quality Control (QC) laboratories installed with Gas Chromatography with a Flame Ionization Detector.
  3. All alcohol manufacturers shall establish and document all traders in their distribution chain and have procedures for ensuring full traceability from the factory to the consumer of alcoholic products manufactured for sale.
  4. The Kenya Bureau of Standards shall ensure that within 45 days, all industrial ethanol is denatured or marked with a denaturing agent (denatonium benzoate) to prevent diversion and/or the accidental use of industrial ethanol in alcohol manufacture.
  5. Any licences currently issued to bars and other outlets and premises by County Governments that are contrary to the provisions of the Alcoholic Drinks Control Act, especially as relates to licensing of premises within residential areas and around basic educational institutions are null and void.
  6. No bars or alcoholic outlets shall be allowed to operate beyond the stipulated operation hours.
  7. All manufacturers/distillers aware of counterfeits of their products and fail to report to the Anti Counterfeit Authority on the same shall be deemed complicit.
  8. Officers abetting, concealing, or colluding with any person to commit an offence under alcoholic drinks shall be liable as per law.
  9. All public officers in the enforcement/compliance chain shall not own and operate a bar directly or via proxy. All public officers currently operating such premises are required to shut them down or resign.
  10. All landlords or premise owners shall be deemed aiders and abetters thereof and be held liable for renting out space for the establishment of bars/ wines and spirits outlets in prohibited areas.
  11. All chemists and agrovets are to submit their licenses to the Pharmacy and Poisons Board and Veterinary Medicines Directorate for verification within 30 days.
  12. All licensed pharmacists and veterinary doctors dispensing prescription drugs without prescription shall be deregistered.
  13. All vehicles/buildings used in storage, manufacturing trafficking of illegal drugs, illicit brews, and alcohol shall be seized and deemed to be government property.
  14. Ministry of Interior and National Administration and Ministry of Health shall put in place measures for branding and colour specification of all alcoholic and tobacco distribution vehicles. Such products are to be transported between the hours of 6 am and 6 pm only. The guidelines are to be issued within 14 days from this directive, with manufacturers expected to secure full implementation within 45 days.
  15. A multi-stakeholder approach has been instituted to strengthen surveillance, enforcement and compliance at all levels led by the National Government Administrative Officers.
  16. Surveillance at the border points will be undertaken through a multi-agency framework with key actors including KEBS, Immigration, KRA, NPS and ACA.
  17. To enforce compliance with the package, the Kenya Bureau of Standards shall within 60 days, review the guidelines on the minimum quantity of alcoholic drinks to enhance the same from 250ml to 750ml or higher.
  18. All enforcement agencies shall undertake integrity vetting of all officers manning border points, highways and regional offices. Only officers of integrity and good standing will be appointed to conduct surveillance at the border points and highways especially Namanga and Isebania, Moyale and Isiolo.
  19. Importation, manufacture, sale, use, advertisement, promotion or distribution of shisha is outlawed in the country, any establishment found in breach of this provision will be shut down with immediate effect.
  20. The labeling and packaging of all tobacco products in Kenya must comply with the provisions of the Tobacco Control Act 2007 and the Tobacco Control Regulations 2014. Products that do not comply must be withdrawn from the market.
  21. The National Treasury is urged to fastrack the harmonization of custom and excise duty of ethanol in the EAC region to prevent arbitrage within 45 days.
  22. Parliament is requested to prioritize and fast-track the processing of all legislative interventions towards amendments to the Alcoholic Drinks Control Act; Tobacco Control Act; Public Health Act; Pharmacy and Poisons Board Act; Veterinary Medicines Directorate Regulations and other accompanying regulations.
  23. In particular, the amendments to the Alcoholics Drinks Control Act to ensure that county licensing is conditional to the receipt of a clearance certificate from NACADA as a pre-condition for the issuance of license to sell, distribute and otherwise deal with alcoholic drinks.
  24. All County Security Committees are hereby directed to shut down and destroy all illicit manufacturing installations, distilleries, agrovets and chemists not within the approved list of licensed enterprises within 10 days of this directive.
  25. County Security Committee Members will be held liable and subject to disciplinary action where an unlicensed manufacturing installation, distillery, agrovet or chemist is found operating in their respective jurisdiction.

This ruling come a few days after over 20 people died from consuming illicit brew in Kirinyaga  county.

Now, the government, through the ministry of Interior and National Administration, has today released the above measures to end the menace of illicit brew in the country.

CS Kindiki has said the use of illicit brews, drugs and substance abuse majorly among teenagers, the youth and even the elderly, is now not only a grave social concern but also a threat to the wellbeing and sustainable future of the country.

The two ministries now invite all currently licensed manufacturers and distillers to a meeting to be held on Tuesday, March 12, 2024, at 10.00 am on the above prescription.


By Matildah Obaigwa




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