, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 8 – Kenya Breweries Limited (KBL) has proposed to partner with the government to produce an affordable alcohol brand to counter the scourge of illicit brews in the country.
KBL Managing Director Joe Muganda explained that this venture will see the unveiling of a product priced at Sh25 that is of high quality and safe for consumption by those who are economically constrained.
“KBL wants to work urgently with the government to develop and launch a low cost quality assured product at an affordable price. We are estimating that it is possible to put a beer product at Sh25 for a 300 ml serve in the market if we want those that are not financially able to have a safe drink and not have people dying,” Muganda said.
“This brand will be appropriately taxed in order to ensure that it is affordable for consumers and it will only be made available to outlets that are sanctioned and approved by the national administration,” he added.
Addressing journalists on Thursday, Muganda assured the government that it would train security personnel how to identify counterfeit alcoholic drinks in the market.
“We will embark on a campaign to educate the consumers to be able to identify a genuine product and that which is not. We are also working with the relevant government authority to ensure that we train enforcement authorities to detect and arrest those that are selling the counterfeits and they face the penalty that they should,” he said.
“These senseless deaths are a stark reminder of the need for all Kenyans to work tirelessly together to rid Kenya from the incessant challenge of dangerous, uncontrolled and unregulated brews that continue to decimate lives of unsuspecting and desperate citizens whose only mistake is the desire to socialise with an affordable drink,” the MD added.
On Thursday, the government ordered closure of a company linked to the manufacture of the toxic brew that has killed 83 people and left hundreds of others hospitalised.
Health Cabinet Secretary James Macharia indicated that he had directed Comrade Investments Company, which is linked to some of the illicit brands, to be shut down.
In a statement released on Thursday afternoon, Macharia pointed out that preliminary results indicated high levels of methanol in Sacramento Cane Spirit and Country Man Liquor.
A woman suspected of having sold the illicit brew dubbed kathavuria in the Embu slum of Shauri Yako was arrested by police on Monday and her husband is believed to be among the dead.
Those who consumed and survived the illicit brew in Embu told Capital FM News on Monday that among the complications they experienced, was trouble with sight.
So far, three people have been arrested, one in Embu and two in Ruai on suspicion of involvement in the sale of the illicit brew.
Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph ole Lenku on Wednesday vowed stern action against officers whose responsibility it was to ensure that illicit alcohol was not being brewed or sold.
Lenku stated that the interdictions were extended to all the affected areas.
“Kenyans are particularly advised to avoid taking alcoholic drinks packaged in sachets, plastic bottles and jerry cans because such drinks are easily adulterated,” Lenku warned.