Nyeri County Assembly becomes 2nd to pass Alcohol Control Bill

Wednesday, February 28th, 2024 19:44 | By
Nyeri County speaker Gichuhi Mwangi during the proceedings. PHOTO/Loise Wambugu
Nyeri County speaker Gichuhi Mwangi during the proceedings. PHOTO/Loise Wambugu

The County Assembly of Nyeri on Wednesday passed the Nyeri County Alcoholic Drinks Control Bill, 2023; a bill seeking to provide for the management, control, licensing and regulation of the production, sale, distribution and consumption of alcoholic drinks.

While moving the motion for third reading of the Bill on behalf of the Chairperson Committee on Legal Affairs, County Public Service and Administration, nominated MCA Kariithi wa Wambui said the Committee held public participation in all the eight sub-counties of Nyeri County to collect views from the members of the public.

He stated that the Committee further held a consultative meeting with all Members of the County Assembly and also received memoranda from 10 stakeholders.

In a sitting that was chaired by Speaker James Gichuhi, the members committed to be at the forefront in the fight against illegal brews reiterating that they are ready to protect the people of Nyeri against dangerous alcoholic drinks.

The bill allows tough punitive measures to be taken against the manufacturers of alcoholic drinks who manufacture and distribute adulterated products in Nyeri County. If assented, offenders will be slapped with a fine of Ksh10 million or be jailed for 10 years or both.

"Any person while manufacturing an alcoholic drink adulterates the drink by adding impurities, prohibited substances or additives commits an offence and is liable to a fine of not exceeding ten million and upon conviction an imprisonment of ten years or both " read the bill.

The bill further states that a distributor who knowingly distributes such a drink will also have committed an offence and is liable to a fine of Ksh2 million or imprisonment for two years.

Bar owners selling such alcoholic drinks are also not spared and will pay a fine of Ksh500,000 or serve two years imprisonment or both.

"A person who knowingly sells an alcoholic drink which is adulterated commits an offence and shall upon conviction be liable to a fine of Ksh500,000 or serve two years imprisonment. Besides that, his or her license will be forfeited and cannot be issued with the same for the rest of his or her life," the bill states.

Nyeri Governor's assent

The speaker said that the bill now awaits Governor Mutahi Kahiga's assent before it becomes law.

"We have done our part in efforts to curb the menace of manufacturing and selling illicit brews we hope these laws will curb any sale that can result in injuries or deaths," the speaker said.

He said that once the bill starts to work, it will help curb the county's menace.

"The alcoholic bill once it becomes a law will help to reduce in a big way the abuse of alcohol even if not fully," he said.

Kirimukuyu ward Member of the County Assembly Muriithi Ndagita lauded Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua for his efforts to eradicate illicit brews, noting that putting a watermark on the bottles would aid in reducing counterfeiting of products.

Nyeri County became the second county to pass the bill in the Mt Kenya region after Nyandarua.

The bill further reinforces the licensing of bars and restaurants with the County Liquor License Board and the public having a bigger say on which bars will get the nod to operate.

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