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Kenyan brewers given 21 day notice

NAIROBI, Kenya, May 22- Manufacturers and retailers of alcoholic drinks were on Sunday given a 21 day notice to acquire new licenses failure to which they would face stiff penalties.

This followed the gazettement of the District Alcoholic Drinks Regulation Committees that are now in charge of registering manufacturers and operators as part of operationalising the Alcoholic Drinks Control Act 2010.

NACADA Authority Chairman Dr Frank Njenga said that the licensing could not take place earlier because members of the district committees had not been gazetted.

“Before the law, all manufacturers and retailers of any alcoholic substances are equal and we are not discriminating against any of them. So the manufacturer of chang’aa (local brew) will go to the same district committee as the big breweries… that is the extent to which the law has changed in this country,” Dr Njenga said.

He said there were 13 categories of licenses from which the bar operators could choose from.

“If you want to run a bar, decide which one you want-whether you want to run one that opens up to three o’clock in the morning or one that closes at 11pm,” he stated.

“As such therefore the question of restricting people from consuming and selling alcohol does not arise. You restrict yourself because you apply for the license you want,” he added.

However, each of the categories would have a different rate.

Since the enactment of the Alcoholic Drinks Control Act 2010, most retailers had been operating with the old licenses some of which are already expired.

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The law came into place in August last year and became operational in November upon gazettement.

In December, the government gazetted the rules and regulations to govern issuance of licenses to those who wish to operate alcohol-related businesses and the rules provide for the hours of operation for various establishments and the fee payable for each category of license.

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