NAIROBI Kenya, May 8 – The Chief Executive Officers of the National Authority for Campaign against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (NACADA) and the Anti-Counterfeit Agency are among 52 government officials interdicted over the lethal brew that has killed more than 80 people since Monday.
The rest are provincial administrators, police officers and National Intelligence Service personnel in the affected areas, who are accused of having failed in their duties.
The decision was announced by Interior Cabinet Secretary, Joseph ole Lenku who said that at least 81 people in five counties across the country have died after consuming the toxic alcohol. One hundred and seventy five others are receiving treatment in various hospitals.
“The government is deeply concerned at such unnecessary and unwarranted loss of life and takes an extremely dim view of those involved in manufacturing or facilitating the production of this drink of death,” he stated.
“We have established that the illicit alcohol consumed in these incidents contained pure methanol, a substance that is usually not an ingredient in the manufacture of alcohol for human consumption. We have further established that other poisonous ingredients have been applied over the years in the preparation of these drinks of death.”
Lenku also revealed that police are finalising investigations into the manufacture, sale and distribution of the killer brew, before taking suspects to court to face murder charges.
“The government will bring charges of murder against manufacturers and sellers of the killer brew,” he affirmed.
Addressing journalists on Thursday, Lenku said that the government was taking the matter seriously, because the deaths could have been prevented were it not for laxity of government officials.
As a preventive measure, the government also banned the packaging and sale of alcoholic drinks in sachets, jerrycans and other unlabeled containers. READ Govt shuts down firm linked to toxic brew
Also outlawed is the hawking of alcohol, including traders selling liquor outside their licensed jurisdiction.
“NACADA will profile all manufacturers and alcoholic drinks outlets, in collaboration with Public Health and County Security Committees in order to review all licenses,” the Interior Secretary announced.
He added; “There will be colouring of industrial alcohol to ensure that it is eliminated as an ingredient in any alcohol drinks production.”
“All licenses of manufacturers, distributors and sellers are hereby cancelled. Those who wish to continue in the business must re-apply in 48 hours,” he stated.
This is seen as the most decisive action taken by the government since the deaths began.