Influential Mt Kenya businessmen, politicians hinder illicit liquor fight

Nyeri counterfeit liquor

Some of the counterfeit liquor which was seized from an unlicensed distillery in Mathira East, Nyeri County on February 10, 2022.

Photo credit: Stephen Munyiri | Nation Media Group

Influential people involved in manufacturing illicit and counterfeit liquor have made the war against sale and consumption of the products difficult in Central region, regional commissioner Fredrick Shisia has said.

Speaking in Nyeri, Mr Shisia said the manufacturers have formed a cartel that knows how to compromise the system and “they will stop at nothing”, even as he vowed on the government commitment to apprehend those involved and win the war against sale of counterfeit alcohol.

“They know how to compromise the system such that they are able to continue running their business seamlessly,” he said, noting that it will concerted efforts from both the national government and administrative organs to win the alcoholism war raving the youth in Central Kenya.

He further noted that, most alcohol sellers in the rural and urban areas work in cahoots with manufacturers of illicit and counterfeit liquor to hoodwink regulators and buyers.

Mr Shisia added that those operating bars and wines and spirit outlets place the original bottles at the front of the shelves and the counterfeit ones at the back.

“We are having an intergovernmental agency partnership to fight alcoholism in our region. We want to put together our skills and resources to ensure that we succeed in this fight against illicit and second generation liquor,” he said.

In addition, the regional commissioner said there was a need to review laws that permit production and sale of alcohol products in the country seeing there are loopholes that make it difficult to win against alcoholism.

“Most business people find shortcuts which are harming our people and making this fight difficult,” he said.

Further, he called on the church, National Government Administration Officers (NGAO) and those in leadership positions to come together and aid in the fight against illicit and counterfeit alcoholic products.

“Nacada will spearhead sensitization programmes alongside NGAO … interfaith teams and NGOs will also be brought on board where we will mount caravans in various locations across the region,” he said, calling on residents to expose those with manufacturing dens within the estates they live in.