Operation of Mnazi (palm wine) dens dubbed ‘Mangwe’ have been prohibited in Kilifi County with a stern warning that those found selling the brew will be arrested and prosecuted.
The dealers of the alcohol have been operating in both towns and rural areas claiming that they are excluded from presidential directives that no bars should sell alcohol as positive cases of Covid-19 surges on.
Kilifi County Commissioner (CC), Magu Mutindika who briefed the media after a security meeting on Tuesday said no local brews will be spared in the area and cautioned that already a number of arrests have been made for those defying the orders.
He said security agencies have been deployed in areas notorious for the consumption of mnazi alcohol and in bars revealing that most bars and restaurants in the major towns of Kilifi, Mtwapa, Kaloleni and Malindi have been visited and the owners ordered to remove their alcohol in their shelves.
“We know the risks that can befall the public in case of a spread of the disease in the affected areas. Those consuming the brew share one straw for as many people as 10 while at their ‘mangwes’, a health hazard which cannot be tolerated,” he said.
Mutindika said the police will be inspecting premises of those selling food in kiosks and shops and ensure they wear masks and maintain social distancing for them to be allowed to operate.
“Members of the public both in towns and rural areas have of late relaxed in following the ministry of health guidelines requiring them to wear masks, maintain social distance and washing hands and sanitizing in eateries. This is going to be enforced henceforth,” he said.
He stressed the need for cooperation between the public and the police in controlling the disease which he said has now spread to the communities.
By Harrison Yeri