NAIROBI, Kenya May 15 – Alcoholism will now be recognised as a disease after President Uhuru Kenyatta signed the Alcoholic Drinks Control (Amendment) Act, 2015 into law.
The Act amends the Alcoholic Drinks Control Act popularly known as the Mututho law that has been in place since 2010 was among three laws that were assented to by the President on Thursday.
The Amendment Act which was sponsored by Kikuyu MP Kimani Ichung’wa says that in conducting education and awareness programs, relevant agencies and the Government shall “recognise alcoholism as a disease and the alcohol use disorders as defined by World Health Organisation shall be recognised disorders in Kenya”.
The newly signed Act compels the government and the National Authority for the Campaigns against Drug Abuse (NACADA) to conduct education and awareness campaigns on alcoholism.
Apart from strengthening regulations to contain illicit brews, the Ichung’wa Amendment also roots for construction of adequate rehabilitation centres under the National Authority for the Campaigns against Drug Abuse.
The Act grants remission of excise duty at 90 percent with respect to beer made from sorghum, millet or cassava grown in Kenya and the drink must at least have 75 percent content of the named grains.
For this provision to apply the manufacturer must pack the beer in pasteurized containers of at least thirty litres or such other container and quantity as the Cabinet Secretary responsible for Finance may approve.
Ichung’wa said the Government erred in introducing new excise duty on cheaper drinks because it made such drinks affordable to the common man.