Crack down on illicit brewers in Uasin Gishu

Counties Crime Editor's Pick Uasin Gishu

The government has intensified the crackdown on illicit brewers in Uasin Gishu   with more than half of the alcoholic drinks categorized as illegal and not recommended for sale in the market, the County Commissioner in cooperation with Directorate of Criminal Investigations have stepped up measures to curb the menace.

Speaking during a crackdown at Hawaii estate in Moiben sub-county, the Uasin Gishu County Commissioner Dr. Eddyson Nyale said unlicensed outlets brewing and selling adulterated alcohol that posed danger to consumers have grown immensely in the county.

“The operation was successful following a public tip off from the members of the community policing team who informed us that there are more than five residential houses which have been turned into brew hubs,” he said.

“The consignment of the illegal brew was confiscated by police officers and taken to Ainaptich police post. They include 126 cartons of Silver star and 334 cartons of Golden Dream spirits, 705 litres of ethanol which is mixed with dirty water. Four cartons of bottle tops, fake KRA seals, said Dr. Nyale.

He added that the brewers have different sections for distilling, bottling and sealing the brews. The problem he says is that the brews are normally mixed with lethal concoction ethanol by dealers in a bid to make more profits and get more clients.

“The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) and Public Health have taken the samples to the government laboratory to check whether or not it was safe for public consumption,” he added.

The County Commissioner lamented the fact that alcohol related deaths in Kenya were common although they could be prevented with the right enforcement.

“I urge residents of Uasin Gishu and business owners to engage in legal businesses. We do not want businesses that will blindly affect humans and cause loss of lives,” the County Commissioner said.

Dr. Nyale vowed that the National Police Service, and other National government officers have enhanced vigilance in the county as a key measure geared towards stepping up the fight against illicit alcohol. “We will continue with the crackdown in all sub counties, those in this illegal business like this we warn you to stop before we get to you,” he warned.

He further issued a warning to all bar owners and encouraged them to remain compliant with the law in order to avoid punitive enforcement measures saying they should be vigilant on the illegal brands and report if they note any trader selling the illegal brews.

He noted that the Operation “Safisha Uasin Gishu kutoka  pombe gushi” will be implemented on  local illegal brews or those  imported from neighbouring countries that pose health risks to humans including chang’aa and bhang.

The security committee at county level and sub county level are visiting all counties to ensure no illicit brew is being sold to residents.

He also advised investors in this kind of industry to consider investing in other legal and constructive businesses that could benefit the residents and community at large.

The Deputy Police commander Ng’eno Zacchaeus said so far, seven suspects have been arrested. “The people we have arrested are the ones who were working at the factory and as for now, they are our prime suspects,” he added.

“The arrested suspects had to identify who owns the factory and we have yet to confirm if it’s really illegal business from the other registered stakeholders, but as for now, we treat it as an outlet that’s not registered hence outlawed,” he noted.

By Judy Too and Anastacious Chepkemoi


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