, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 25 – The chairman of the National Authority for Campaign Against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (NACADA) John Mututho is pushing for amendments to the Alcohol Drink Control Act 2010 commonly known as ‘Mututho Law’ to include death sentences for people found dealing in illegal and inferior quality brews.
Speaking to Capital FM News on Wednesday morning, Mututho indicated that this will reduce the number of fatalities and ensure Kenyans are kept safe from production of sub-standard alcohol.
He revealed that NACADA together with other stakeholders will appear before the Senate Committee on Administration and Justice on Thursday to present their proposals after which they expect it to be pushed forward to the floor of the House.
“We have major proposals which we will come to discuss in a matter of days and we would not like to see Kenya go to where the way of America and other countries have. We would like to go the Singapore or China way such that if you are caught, you will know within 48 hours that you are going to the gallows,” Mututho warned.
Over 80 people died in May after drinking illegal liquor believed to have been laced with industrial methanol.
“We are going to roll out a major program so that we can reduce the number of drug dependent people. In the meantime, on the supply equation, we are getting to be more and more strict; more and more serious. We are not going to take it very kindly for people who walk scot free in the issue of alcohol and drug abuse.”
Section 32 of the Mututho Law requires every alcoholic drink package to bear a statement as to its composition and prescribed health warning.
The statement and health warning must comprise not less than 30 percent of the surface area of the package, a requirement manufacturers have found difficult to implement.
Mututho further pointed out that NACADA is partnering with the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) to ensure that every drink produced is fit for consumption.
“KEBS has developed a software that before you drink, you just use your mobile phone, punch that number there and the central data which tell you automatically that this is a good drink, manufactured by the East Africa Breweries on this date and if you want more, it is sold at Nakumatt for instance and that it is a good drink,” he stated.
He however indicated that the downside to that is that the contents of a drink can be changed while the bottle still has the KEBS identification mark.
“That is what we are now really hurrying to do so that a normal consumer doesn’t have to worry very much, he just needs to check it out. I must however warn you also that if that bottle is lost and then they put in dirty stuff on board, then the number will still be there so it will be reflecting that it is good stuff but it contains something different,” he stated.
“That is why I was insisting that we also use the manual system other than that whereby every outlet will have to display certificates of the company that they represent. You can then take the receipt and then confirm with the company whether they sold alcohol to this particular outlet,” he said.
He stated that the leadership challenges facing the Authority had a part to play in the delay of the implementation of the various initiatives.
“We have challenges at NACADA and the management is still unstable. I attribute this mainly to the appointing authorities. If they can stabilize the management, we would have been able to implement this initiative in just about under one month,” he explained.