, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 3 – East African Breweries Limited has welcomed the signing of the Alcohol Drinks Control Act into law, saying it will ensure consumers get quality alcoholic beverages.
Corporate Affairs Director Ken Kariuki told Capital News that the high fines imposed on counterfeiters will ensure that any alcohol brewed is superior.
Mr Kariuki said other than shielding consumers from low quality products, it will ensure manufacturers get value for their money since it will eliminate the counterfeits and low quality dangerous drinks.
"The act is very explicit that anyone contravening this will be liable for a fine of Sh5 million which is a very huge amount of money. This is going to cause determent in this area," he said.
During an interview, Mr Kariuki lauded the Act saying it encourages responsible drinking.
"I want to urge anyone who is aware of anyone selling alcohol to an underage to report this to the authorities," he said.
On the new advertising regulations, he said the company\’s adverts comply with the new regulations. He said the company has phased out adverts that promote beer as a drink that enhances social success as required by the new law.
The company also a while ago launched the "responsible drinking" initiative that encourages drinkers to designate a sober person to be the driver.
You can download the act here.
The Act is set to revolutionize the beer brewing market by licensing traditional/illicit brews in the country but regulate the sale and manufacture.
The State shall license brewers and ensure that the traditional beers are manufactured under very hygienic conditions and that their ingredients are within set standards. These beers will no longer be sold in jars and cups as has been the tradition. Brewers will be required to pack them in bottles of not less than 200 milliliters.
The new law will also regulate the general sale and advertising of beers in the country. It outlaws adverts that promote beer to enhance concentration and social and sexual success.
A powerful District Alcoholic Drinks Regulation Committee shall be put in place to regulate the sale of beer in the specific districts. This committee shall be in charge of licensing bars and brewers.
The District Committee shall consist of the District Commissioner who shall be the chairperson, the District Medical Officer of Health, Officer Commanding Police Division, one person nominated by every local authority in the district, three residents of the district appointed by the Minister, and one person designated by the relevant agency to be a secretary.
Bars will be required to acquire annual licenses and ensure their premises are at least three hundred meters from a primary or secondary school.
Secondly, the sale of an alcoholic drink in a supermarket or such other related retail chain store shall not be allowed unless the applicant has taken measures to ensure that the area in which the sale is to take place is not accessible to persons under the age of 18 years.
Bar operators will be responsible of controlling disturbances in their premises.
"When they see drunken behavior they will have to put an end to it by for example having the individuals responsible exit," said Mr Kariuki.
The law gives the Provincial Administration and Internal Security Minister powers to set the drinking hours in the country.