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Matiang’i cracks whip on alcohol industry

Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i has launched a fresh crackdown by coming up with a team that will help him in regulating the alcoholic industry in Kenya.

Through a gazette notice published on Friday the 27th of November 2020, Matiang’i announced the creation of the National Alcohol Control Committee. Interior Permanent Secretary Karanja Kibicho will oversee the team.

Other team members in the control committee include; KRA Director-General James Mburu, Health PS Susan Mochache, KEBS MD Bernard Njiraini, Youth Affairs PS Julius Korir, among other government officials.

Duties.

This control team has been tasked with jointly inspecting all premises that manufacture alcoholic drinks. This is to ensure that the manufacturers are complying with relevant laws in the industry.

The team shall also regularly audit alcoholic drinks manufacturers. This is to check whether the manufacturers comply with quality standards in the market and any other regulatory requirements.

Matiang’i further tasked the team with approving packaging labels for all registered alcoholic drinks in Kenya. They should also eliminate counterfeit and substandard alcoholic beverages in the country.

The team should also recommend formulating relevant policies, standards, laws, and regulations in the alcohol industry. These will then be implemented at the county and national level.

The National Alcohol Control Committee replaces the Inter-Agency Taskforce for Control of Potable Spirit and Combat of Illicit Brews. The Agency has since been disbanded.

For a long time, Kenya has been battling with the issue of contraband and illicit brews that are slowly killing people. This led to KRA launching a crackdown on fake alcoholic drinks in the market in August 2020.

Additionally, in June, the DCI, in collaboration with KRA, confiscated illicit liquor in Nakuru worth ksh 4 million. The national tax body is also currently engaging two major alcohol manufacturer companies in court battles revolving around tax disputes worth millions of Kenyan shillings.

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