, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 22 – Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi says he did not order the closure of bars within Kiambu County in the war against illicit brews.
A statement from the ministry stated that at no time did the CS order closure of bars there, or in any other part of the country.
According to the Ministry’s Communication Director Mwenda Njoka, Matiangi asked inter-agency authorities involved in licensing of bars and other establishments that sell alcoholic beverages to carry out thorough vetting of closed establishments to ensure that only those that meet the requisite legal conditions are allowed to re-open.
“Whereas the government is resolute and unyielding in its fight against illicit and counterfeit brews to protect the lives of Kenyans, the government is also committed to protecting all legitimate business enterprises in all sectors and in every corner of the country,” he stated.
He stated that Matiang’i was very categorical that legitimate establishments operating within the confines of the law governing manufacturing, sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages have nothing to worry about.
“The Alcoholic Drinks Control Act (2010) clearly defines under what circumstances manufacturing, sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages should take (or not take) place,” he said.
Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu has been at loggerheads with bar owners in the county who have been accusing him of seeking to drive them out of business despite them being in legitimate beer business.
Waititu had pleaded with Matiangi to order all the bars in the county to be closed down awaiting fresh vetting and licensing since his order had been disobeyed.
The bar owners through their umbrella body Kiambu Bar Liquor Association had held demonstrations where they stormed the county headquarters accusing the governor of being hell bent on driving them out of business.