Lack of Liquor Laws, Licensing Hamper Fight Against Illicit

Nyandarua County Alcoholic Drinks Act of 2014 has been criticized for abating proliferation of illicit brews as the County is yet to enact Alcohol laws that accommodate the security enforcers.County CEC for Social Services Ms Faith Wanjiru Mbugua while acknowledging that the enactment of the laws were long overdue noted that the alcohol board to be instituted soon will also accommodate the county commissioner and the police for proper enactment of the laws.

The licenses given in 2017 are still in use until now with enforcers noting that lack of licensing had encouraged proliferation of illicit and adulterated brews. Bar owners in the county are currently operating with outdated licenses.

Speaking in Wanjohi ward, Kipipiri Constituency the CEC said that there were 21 primary schools, 8 churches against 148 bars in the ward lamenting that area residents appreciate alcohol more than education and spirituality.

Ms Mbugua noted that as much as people wanted to work to feed your families there was a need to seek alternative source of income as bar business will only be done by a handful.

She added promising that the alcohol bill will drastically reduce the number of bars.

Central Regional Commissioner Mr. Wilson Njega, while presiding over the destruction of bhang, gambling machines and illicit brews netted in Wanjohi ward, regretted that the county had decided to lock out the officers in their board’s calling on cooperation between the two units mandated to separately oversee liquor licensing and enforcement.

He said that the county commissioner and police have to be incorporated in the board as the two arms of government have to complement each other in the fight against illicit brews.

Mr Njega challenged the members of the county assembly to fast track the passing of the Bill before Assembly.

He urged administrators to contain the proliferation of adulterated liquor as they contributed greatly to lawlessness.

The Regional Commissioner noted that there was a proposal to amend the laws that manufacturers from other counties get a license to distribute in a particular county with licences saying that the move will help regulate the alcohol brands getting in the specific county.

Adulteration he noted was also on the rise in the county noting that they must finish these brews for youths to be productive and marry. He added that the government was also spearheading the rehabilitation of addicts.
The disbanded board enacted by former governor Daniel Waithaka had failed to factor in the national government officers who are to spearhead enforcement.

Early this year, the Rapid Results Initiative that netted Unlicensed bar owners saw them move to court to challenge the arrests as the Act allowed them to operate until they are issued with a new license by the board.

The county government has been, since January this year, promising the residents that their public participation will inform the number of the bars to be allowed to operate.