, NAIROBI,Kenya,May 29 – The Nairobi City County Alcoholic Drinks Control and Licensing Board has closed down five wines and spirits outlets operating at Jerusalem Shopping Centre for selling illicit and expired drinks and operating without liquor licences.
Two of the wine and spirits had been converted into mini-bars and in a filthy state.
The other three wine and spirits in a 40ft container owned by a city politician operate 24hrs along Buruburu roads.
Residents had complained about the sale of illegal and outdated drinks in the area after three middle-aged men died after consuming them.
The outlets were shut down during an operation that was led by Liquor Board chairman Kennedy Odhiambo, area chief Nicholas Maingi and Embakasi West Liquor Committee chairman Paul Ochieng.
According to chief Maingi, teams from the Anti- Counterfeit Agency (ACA) and National Campaign Against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (NACADA) Authority visited the area but failed to act on residents’ complaints.
Odhiambo pledged to extend the operation to other estates.
“We are going to close down all bars, wine and spirits operating near schools and in residential areas,” said Odhiambo.
Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko has given a directive to the board not to compromise on any illicit liquor businesses especially bars near schools and residential areas.
The Board and ACA have in the recent past conducted campaigns to create consumer awareness in order to curb and regulate alcoholic drinks – a menace that continues to damage families and lives of young and productive youths across the country.
The forums brought together County enforcement officers, officials from the ACA, Kenya Revenue Authority, Kenya Bureau of Standards, police, regional administers, the clergy and community elders.
Stakeholders came up with a raft of measures anchored on collaboration between the national and county government and the need to review laws and regulations to curb the runaway consumption of illicit brews.
The government estimates that more than 50,000 people have died due to alcohol and drugs abuse in the last one decade.