Residents welcome Waititu’s new alcohol Bill
Residents of Gatundu North have welcomed the introduction of Kiambu County Alcoholic Drinks Control (Amendment) bill which they said if passed and made into law would tame the manufacture and consumption of illicit liquor in the county.
They hailed the bill for proposing the cancellation of wines and spirit licenses, claiming that operators of those outlets sell liquor to underage children.
While arguing that the bill will pacify the manufacture and consumption of outlawed brews which have claimed over six lives in the area, the residents welcomed a proposal to have all bars display a list of their brands on sale.
They however, challenged the proposal to raise the drinking age limit from 18 to 21 claiming that such amendments would contradict the supreme Kenyan law that defines 18 years as the age of maturity.
The residents who spoke during the bill’s public participation forum in Kamwangi, spearheaded by Kiambu County Director of Public Participation, Ken Mwangi and his liquor counterpart, Michael Kang’ethe lamented that 18-21 aged Kenyans were the largest consumers of alcohol and that their businesses would be extremely affected.
The residents critiqued law enforcers, especially the administration police for not taking action on local supermarkets that sell liquor during unstipulated hours.
Led by Gatundu North alcohol manufacturers and sellers Chairman, Boniface Mwaura, the residents also objected a clause in the proposed bill that proposes arrest of bar sellers who sell alcohol to uniformed police officers.
“Police officers are in no circumstance expected to visit bar outlets wearing their uniforms, the proposal to arrest bar sellers is uncalled for and should be expunged from the bill because police are trained people who are expected to exercise dignity,” said Mwaura.
Martin Muteti, a resident urged the county government to consider increasing the distance between educational facilities and alcohol selling joints to halt interference with studies.
“We want supermarkets to follow the law; we also want them to only be restricted to selling none-alcoholic drinks to their customers. The Bill if well enforced will tame illicit brews in Gatundu North and other constituencies within Kiambu,” said Muteti.
Gatundu North is widely known for manufacture and consumption of illicit brews, notably chang’aa in Chania, Makwa, Nyamang’ara and Gatukuyu villages.
Area residents urged,Kiambu governor, Ferdinand Waititu who introduced the bill to concentrate on eradication of the outlawed liquor in the area before the bill is passed and operationalized.
While conducting his gubernatorial campaigns, Waititu promised to tame outlawed brews which he then said had rendered Kiambu men dormant in bed, promising to revive their bed energy.
By Joseph Ng’ang’a