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County steps- up war on illicit brew and liquor stores flouting rules

Murang’a South Deputy County (DCC), Gitonga Murungi, has sent a strong warning to alcoholic drinks outlets, distributors and bar owners who are selling lethal liquor to residents in Murang’a South Sub-County.

The DCC warned that having a liquor license is not enough justification for any dealer to distribute or even sell liquor that is not fit for human consumption.

“We are aware that there are some brands being stocked around that are dangerously lethal and this must come to an end, and I assure you that we are getting them-off the market,” he stated

Murungi spoke in Makuyu, when he led the Sub- County’s Liquor Inspection Committee, in inspecting liquor stores and alcoholic drinks establishments in the area.

The inspection aims at regulating the number of alcoholic outlets in order to curb the now prevalent and thorny issue of alcohol, substance abuse and illicit brews trade in the country.

“We have a high concentration of pubs and bars in Murang’a South and from the inspection we are seeking to reduce the numbers by recommending the establishments for licensing, conditional approval or for total closure,” noted the DCC

“For instance, some outlets have been flouting liquors rules and regulations with impunity, some have even been operating beyond the stipulated hours, it is unacceptable for an outlet to sell alcohol from 5am in the morning, yet the hours stipulated in their licenses indicate that they are allowed to operate from 5pm in the evening,” he said.

The DCC further noted that some of the establishments posed a security risk to residents, while others’ close proximity to learning institutions and residential areas hosting children, is not in line with the liquor regulations.

Murang’a south/Maragua Sub- County leads in the number of alcoholic drinks outlets, as 608 applications for licensing were received whereby 63 have been marked for rejection out of the 120 registered outlets inspected so far.

Kiharu Sub-County follows closely with 598 applications whereby 445 outlets have been inspected so far, 207 have been initially approved, whereas the rest 238 have been rejected.

In Gatanga, 309 have been inspected, 177 have been approved and 132 rejected from the 433 registered outlets applications received.

Mathioya Sub-County and Kangema received the lowest number of applications at 266 and 274 applications respectively whereby in Mathioya 188 outlets have been inspected with only 87 initial approvals whereas Kangema’s 99 outlets have been rejected out of the 210 registered outlets inspected.

In the entire County, a total of 1,775 registered alcoholic drinks establishments have been inspected with 871 facing initial rejection, 899 facing initial approvals out of the 2,982 applications that had been submitted.

The inspection exercise continues.

By Florence Kinyua

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