County to bring sanity to the alcoholic drinks sector
Written by Jeremy Ogolla
The County is keen on restoring sanity in the alcoholic sector with the inauguration of the newly appointed members to the Sub-county Alcoholic drinks regulation committee.
The Sub-county Committees are established under section 9(s) of the Nakuru County Alcoholic Drinks Control Act, 2014 which provides a law for control, Licensing, regulation and general administration of the manufacture, advertisement, sale and consumption of alcoholic drinks in the County.
Speaking while officiating the inauguration of the appointed committee members, Nakuru County Secretary Dr Samuel Mwaura asked the new appointees to ensure proper implementation of the Liquor Act and the County Government policy on Liquor Licensing.
‘H.E Governor Susan Kihika has confidence in this very committee. Your vetting in this committee has been very rigorous, I am calling on you to protect your image and the image of the Governor by avoiding corruption,’’ said the CS.
Dr Mwaura said the County administration will ensure that the committee works systematically and in harmony with other departments especially the public health so as to avoid contradictions during inspections, calling on the Department of Trade through its liquor directorate to issue the guidelines on how to do this.
“I am calling on the committee to work as a team to ensure they achieve the technical perspective of their inspection by working with the health department,’’ said the CS.
However, on the quality of alcohol, the County Secretary called on the public health officers to ensure the standards of alcohol are well achieved especially in terms of labelling and source.
His sentiments were echoed by Trade County Executive Hon Stephen Kuria who pointed out that the County Government is in the process of amending the Finance Act that will birth the issuing of a single business permit to reduce onerous requirements for businesses.
“As a County, we are yet to call all the bar owners, hoteliers and liquor traders to come and air their opinions on this finance bill. It will seek to address various grievances such as Bed and Breakfast (BnB) businesses that operate without being duly registered,’’ said Kuria.
Mr. Kuria however challenged the committee to avoid taking bribes from the liquor dealers, and instead charged them to help the Governor in achieving her agenda of bringing sanity to the sector.
The move by the County administration has come against the backdrop of the problem of alcohol abuse reaching alarming levels in parts of the region, with locals feeling little has been done to check the vice, which has seen many young people drown in the cheap and readily available brews, turning them into zombies.
Some enterprising traders in illicit brew have devised innovative and unconventional ways of doing business without raising suspicions.
They were speaking during a meeting that saw over one hundred gazetted Sub-county liquor Committees representing 11 sub-counties undergo capacity building and training to best execute their mandate.
Also present was Trade Chief Officer Samwel Ndegwa, County Police Commander Mr Wilson Nduati, Ag. Liquor Director Mr. Xavier Lugaga among others.